Is God's Love Unconditional?

Hambydammit
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Is God's Love Unconditional?

Christian Theology teaches us that it is.

If it is, why do I have to believe in him to be saved? Isn't that a condition?

If God's love is in fact conditional, does that not make him less than all powerful?

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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StMichael
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God's love for human beings

God's love for human beings is unconditional. But that does not mean that there are no conditions to attaining heaven. It is different senses/objects to the term, "unconditional." We must cooperate with God's grace by our free will to be saved, but He loves us even if we are not saved. He loves us without any action on our part, but our salvation is a matter of our free will.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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I myself would never have

I myself would never have someone I loved tortured for one second, let alone eternity. I guess I am a much better person than God.

Yours in the Tooth Fairy

MattShizzle.

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God tortures nobody. 

God tortures nobody. 


Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 


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MattShizzle wrote: I myself

MattShizzle wrote:
I myself would never have someone I loved tortured for one second, let alone eternity. I guess I am a much better person than God. Yours in the Tooth Fairy MattShizzle.

No, God doesn’t want us to be tortured forever.  He just has an anger problem and can’t forgive someone with out killing something else first (that’s why we have Jesus Duh).  Oh yea, and on top of that we have to blindly believe in him even if there is no good evidence to the fact that he exist and all of our science points to the contrary.  Its then and only then that we will be tortured.


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i've never really understood

i've never really understood this whole juxaposition either. even during the 20 years i was a theist. god loves us even while sending us to an eternity of torture. yeah, that's . . . love? no one has been able to adequately explain to me why it was the god put such a condition on salvation in the first place. why must we believe? why not just save people with no strings attached if god loves us so much? however, these questions are just the tip of the iceberg. the whole salvation scenario doesn't make a lick of sense in the first place.

Rill


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StMichael wrote: God

StMichael wrote:

God tortures nobody.


Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

and yet god puts conditions on salvation from such torture (a system of torture that he did set up in the first place). why?

Rill


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God did not invent hell,

God did not invent hell, nor does He delight in it. Hell is purely a matter of making the wrong choice and the consequences which follow from rejecting God.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: God did

StMichael wrote:

God did not invent hell, nor does He delight in it. Hell is purely a matter of making the wrong choice and the consequences which follow from rejecting God.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

But I thought go "created" everything? This just sounds like another contradiction. 


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StMichael wrote: God did

StMichael wrote:

God did not invent hell, nor does He delight in it. Hell is purely a matter of making the wrong choice and the consequences which follow from rejecting God.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

OK, let me rephrase what you said:

"And then God spoke onto Abraham: "Love me and believe in me. This is the choice I thus give thee. Or forever burn in Hell, but hey, I'm only responsible for the choice I gave you. What's it to me if the Devil's choice is unacceptable?""

Get a grip of yourself, will you?

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StMichael wrote: God

StMichael wrote:

God tortures nobody.


Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Dont be dishonest.

"I dont like what the bible says will be done to those who die without believing". That would be an honest answer.

But for you to try to dodge what the bible says will be done to those who die not believe is a load of crap.

You are just as desperate to put your Abrahamic god in a good light that you will do mental gymnastics to avoid the words in the bible.

Dont feel bad, Muslims and Jews do the same thing.

All these holy books portray extreem violence and torture to thouse outside the respective label. The head character of all three goes out of his way to be vendictive and tortureous. It is all in print, for all to see.

YOU merely dont like it. So rather than face it, you make excuses for it because daddy can do no wrong. If you'd take your head out of your rump, and look at it as literature and not some disimbodied magical voice in your head, you'd see that all three of the abrahamic books were written by tribalistic people who's servival depended at that time on subbmitting to a dictator (IN LIFE AND IN RELIGION)

It is nothing but a club mentality. The super hero comes to save the day with a "By any means nessarry" attitude.

In all seriousness, I am blunt for a reason and it is out of concern, not hate. I think you fail to want to do what is nessary to understand where we are comming from and it is fear that causes you not to face it.

Those books were written for the people of that time. Hero worship was common in all cultures before and during the time of the invention of all three. The literary writing style shows the club mentality which they cherry picked from prior religions to create the new ones.

But if you think the Christian god character, and that is all it is, is a nice guy, you have your head up your rear. All three Abrahamic gods might as well be Lex Luthor. The atheist problem is not that this fictional being exists, our problem is that people like you will do anything in your brian to justify believing it without taking a step back to see the violent nature of all these holy books.

The "God" of all three of these books is not someone you mess with. We wouldnt care about it if it wasnt affecting the entire planet. We are concerned that the refusal to face that these books are weapons continues to perpetuate "Us vs Them".

Now, I challenge you to pick up that book and take your "believer" hat off. Whatever you want to call yourself or however you want to say, "They should do it this way"

I challenge you to put that mentality down for a second and actually pick up that book (AND PUT ASSIDE YOUR BIAS) and actually read it without presuming a position one way or another.

THE QURAN AND BIBLE ARE FULL OF HORRIBLE VIOLENCE AND JUSTIFICATION OF GENOCIDE. YOU cant see that because you care more about warm fuzzy feelings rather than face the fact that rightly or wrongly humans throughout history pick up both and say, "I am justified in doing harm to my neighbor". 

 

If hold a belief is that important, then it is worth the scrutany, otherwise you are just another sheep with merely another label. 

 

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StMichael, I admit there's

StMichael, I admit there's a part of me that gains a certain sadistic pleasure from setting you up to contradict yourself and then watching you obediently post the contradiction I was looking for, but my greater goal is for you to see that the most basic tenets of your religion are completely contradictory and not just illogical, but impossible.

"God's love is unconditional."

"There is a condition upon which my participation in god's love is contingent."

These two sentences cannot go together.

My previous post was a setup for this one, StMichael.  If hell is a complete removal of god's love, (and by the way, you stood by this position staunchly, just like you were supposed to!) then allowing people to go to hell is removing them from god's love.  Therefore, my friend, no matter how much you prevaricate, there IS a condition on god's love.

I know, I know... God doesn't force us to choose, he lets us choose to ignore his unconditional love, yada yada.  This doesn't change the fact that the existence of a choice IS a condition.

Yes, I also know... A parent sometimes uses "tough love" on their children, yada yada yada... The analogy is a false one, since a parent's "tough love" is designed to rehabilitate a child, and god's punishment is simply that... torture with no hope of reprieve. 

I'm going to let someone else tear you up for saying that god didn't create hell.

 

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Quote: And then God spoke

Quote:

And then God spoke onto Abraham: "Love me and believe in me. This is the choice I thus give thee. Or forever burn in Hell, but hey, I'm only responsible for the choice I gave you. What's it to me if the Devil's choice is unacceptable?

OK, first problem is that God did not present this choice. Second, God created man to love Him and to be happy with Him. Turning away from what we ought to do is precisely hell. God did not give us the choice to turn away, but merely the choice to choose Him. Sin entered the world as the result of the rejection of this choice, but God did not intend it, nor did He want it to happen.  

 

 

Quote:

"I dont like what the bible says will be done to those who die without believing". That would be an honest answer.

Except that would not be an honest answer because I don't believe it.

Quote:
 

YOU merely dont like it. So rather than face it, you make excuses for it because daddy can do no wrong. If you'd take your head out of your rump, and look at it as literature and not some disimbodied magical voice in your head, you'd see that all three of the abrahamic books were written by tribalistic people who's servival depended at that time on subbmitting to a dictator (IN LIFE AND IN RELIGION)

This is a shallow interpretation of history. YOU, if anyone, needs to move beyond what you think you might know, and read some real history. I never paint you in a way that is so condescending. I could easily say that you need to pull your head out of your rump, read REAL literature, instead of that Richard Dawkins trash, and get out of your narrowminded blind faith in your own positions. I have no such blind faith, and I find it insulting that you immediately label me as such. It is clearly an uncritical acceptance of your own presumptions that prompts you to do so. I have no such presumption.

Quote:


In all seriousness, I am blunt for a reason and it is out of concern, not hate. I think you fail to want to do what is nessary to understand where we are comming from and it is fear that causes you not to face it.

So am I. A little learning turns people into atheists. A lot of learning leads straight to Christ. It has nothing to do with fear of anything. I fear God because I fear to lose Him by my own stupid sin. I believe it is YOUR fear that prompts these silly ad hominem arguments - your fear that there might be a God and that that might entail acting in a way you don't want to. Or, your fear that you will not be able to criticize the vast majority of other people as dimwits, and you will not be able to consider yourself vastly superior to the common "herd."

I likewise have no desire to match swords with insults and verbal gestures of contradiction. My desire is to expose the truth and to lead those who wish to seek the truth to where it lies. I have no desire, or even a need, to force my religion down anyone's throat - because I don't have to. The truth wins in the end because it's true. I also believe that you all probably, unknowingly, accept most of the things that my religion teaches, by nature and without any help from Revelation. I believe that, as a rational being, if you use your mind correctly, it will always lead you to God.

 

 

Quote:

The atheist problem is not that this fictional being exists, our problem is that people like you will do anything in your brian to justify believing it without taking a step back to see the violent nature of all these holy books.

My Scripture doesn't even need to come into the picture. Scripture is something based on faith and there is no reason I would argue from Scripture to you. Scripture is true, but its truth is accepted on faith. I study Scripture and find no reason why it is false. But the obvious question, other than how to reconcile positions in Scripture, is why we accept it in the first place.

 

Quote:

I challenge you to put that mentality down for a second and actually pick up that book (AND PUT ASSIDE YOUR BIAS) and actually read it without presuming a position one way or another.


THE QURAN AND BIBLE ARE FULL OF HORRIBLE VIOLENCE AND JUSTIFICATION OF GENOCIDE. YOU cant see that because you care more about warm fuzzy feelings rather than face the fact that rightly or wrongly humans throughout history pick up both and say, "I am justified in doing harm to my neighbor". 

I find no genocide in Sacred Scripture. "Thou shalt not kill" seems a pretty clear condemnation of this very thing. But never mind that...

It only speaks this way when you have on your "unbeliever hat." 

Take it off and accept the Bible.

 

Quote:

If hold a belief is that important, then it is worth the scrutany, otherwise you are just another sheep with merely another label.

Fides quarens intellectum, my friend. I accept it because it is true.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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Quote: God did not give us

Quote:
God did not give us the choice to turn away, but merely the choice to choose Him

Damn it to hell, Michael!  This is the most stupid thing you've ever said.  I'm genuinely aggravated now.

What is a choice, Michael?  It's two things.  You choose one or the other.  A choice cannot involve only one option.  If god created everything, and offered people one choice, then he offered them another choice, too.

Seriously, are you insane, lying, or are you really not intelligent enough to see how crazy your statement is?

 

Quote:
I find no genocide in Sacred Scripture.

I'm sorry, but I can't even discuss this with you.  You've got to be either insane, lying, or incredibly dense.

Have you even looked in the Hamurook's section at the list of people God directed the Israelites to kill?  You have read your bible, haven't you?

I'm seriously beginning to doubt that you have.

I'm done.  There's no way to have a discussion with you when you simply assert that self-evident concepts can be whimsically tossed aside if it helps your argument to do so.

 

 

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StMichael wrote:I find no

 

StMichael wrote:
I find no genocide in Sacred Scripture.

GE 6:5 God is unhappy with the wickedness of man and decides to flood the earth to eliminate mankind. All living things including plants, animals, women and innocent children are also exterminated. (Note: This is like burning down a populated house to rid it of mice.)
GE 19:26 God personally sees to it that Lot's wife is turned to a pillar of salt
GE 32:24-30 God takes part in a wrestling match. He wins by smacking Jacob's groin.
GE 38:9 "... whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked ..., so the Lord put him to death."
EX 4:24 The Lord sought to kill Moses
EX 7:1, 14, 9:14-16, 10:1-2, 11:7 The purpose of the devastation that God brings to the Egyptians is as follows:
to show that he is Lord;
to show that there is none like him in all the earth;
to show his great power;
to cause his name to be declared throughout the earth;
to give the Israelites something to talk about with their children;
to show that he makes a distinction between Israel and Egypt.
EX 9:22-25 A plague of hail from the Lord strikes down everything in the fields of Egypt both man and beast except in Goshen where the Israelites reside.
EX 12:30 The Lord kills all the first-born of Egypt and there is not a house where there is not at least one dead.
EX 17:13 With the Lord's approval, Joshua mows down Amalek and his people.
EX 21:20-21 With the Lord's approval, a slave may be beaten to death with no punishment for the person giving the beating as long as the slave doesn't die too quickly.
EX 32:27-29 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay 3000 men.
LE 26:22 "I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children."
LE 26:29, DT 28:53, JE 19:9, EZ 5:8-10 As a punishment, the Lord will cause people to eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters and fathers and friends.
NU 11:31-33 A "wind from the Lord" brings such an abundance of quail that "he who gathered the least gathered ten homers," or about 62 bushels. Unfortunately, it was immediately followed by a great plague from the Lord.
NU 12:1-10 God makes Miriam a leper for seven days because she and Aaron had spoken against Moses.
NU 15:32-36 A Sabbath breaker (who had gathered sticks for a fire) is stoned to death at the Lord's command.
NU 16:27-33 The Lord causes the earth to open and swallow up the men and their households (including wives and children) because the men had been rebellious.
NU 16:35 A fire from the Lord consumes 250 men.
NU 16:49 A plague from the Lord kills 14,700 people.
NU 21:6 Fiery serpents, sent by the Lord, kill many Israelites.
NU 21:35 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites slay Og "... and his sons and all his people, until there was not one survivor left ...."
NU 25:4 (KJV) "And the Lord said unto Moses, take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun ...."
NU 25:9 24,000 people die in a plague from the Lord.
NU 31:17-18 Moses, following the Lord's command, orders the Israelites to kill all the Midianite male children and "... every woman who has known man ...."
NU 31:31-40 32,000 virgins are taken by the Israelites as booty. Thirty-two are set aside (to be sacrificed?) as a tribute for the Lord.
DT 2:33-34 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Sihon.
DT 3:6 The Israelites utterly destroy the men, women, and children of Og.
DT 7:2 The Lord commands the Israelites to "utterly destroy" and shown "no mercy" to those whom he gives them for defeat.
DT 20:13-14 "When the Lord delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the males .... As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves."
DT 20:16 "In the cities of the nations the Lord is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes."
DT 21:10-13 With the Lord's approval, the Israelites are allowed to take "beautiful women" from the enemy camp to be their captive wives. If, after sexual relations, the husband has "no delight" in his wife, he can simply let her go.
DT 28:53 "You will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you."
JS 1:1-9, 18 Joshua receives the Lord's blessing for all the bloody endeavors to follow.
JS 6:21-27 With the Lord's approval, Joshua destroys the city of Jericho men, women, and children with the edge of the sword.
JS 7:19-26 Achan, his children and his cattle are stoned to death because Achan had taken a taboo thing.
JS 8:22-25 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly smites the people of Ai, killing 12,000 men and women, so that there were none who escaped.
JS 10:10-27 With the help of the Lord, Joshua utterly destroys the Gibeonites.
JS 10:28 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Makkedah.
JS 10:30 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Libnahites.
JS 10:32-33 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the people of Lachish.
JS 10:34-35 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Eglonites.
JS 10:36-37 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Hebronites.
JS 10:38-39 With the Lord's approval, Joshua utterly destroys the Debirites.
JS 10:40 (A summary statement.) "So Joshua defeated the whole land ...; he left none remaining, but destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel commanded."
JS 11:6 The Lord orders horses to be hamstrung. (Exceedingly cruel.)
JS 11:8-15 "And the lord gave them into the hand of Israel, ...utterly destroying them; there was none left that breathed ...."
JS 11:20 "For it was the Lord's doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be utterly destroyed, and should receive no mercy but be exterminated, as the Lord commanded Moses."
JG 1:4 With the Lord's support, Judah defeats 10,000 Canaanites at Bezek.
JG 1:6 With the Lord's approval, Judah pursues Adoni-bezek, catches him, and cuts off his thumbs and big toes.
JG 1:8 With the Lord's approval, Judah smites Jerusalem.
JG 1:17 With the Lord's approval, Judah and Simeon utterly destroy the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath.
JG 14:19 The Spirit of the Lord comes upon a man and causes him to slay thirty men.
JG 16:27-30 Samson, with the help of the Lord, pulls down the pillars of the Philistine house and causes his own death and that of 3000 other men and women.
JG 21:10-12 "... Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword and; also the women and little ones.... every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall utterly destroy." They do so and find four hundred young virgins whom they bring back for their own use
1SA 5:8-9 God causes "emerods" (hemorrhoids or tumors) amongst the Philistines (who have captured the Ark of the Covenant, where God was thought to reside).
1SA 6:19 God kills seventy men (or so) for looking into the Ark
1SA 16:14-23 Evil spirits can come from God (and be exorcised with God's help).
1SA 11:11 With the Lord's blessing, Saul and his men cut down the Ammonites.
1SA 15:33 "Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord ...."
2SA 5:25 "And David did as the Lord commanded him, and smote the Philistines ...."
2SA 8:1-18 (A listing of some of David's murderous conquests.)
2SA 8:4 David hamstrung all but a few of the horses.
2SA 8:5 David slew 22,000 Syrians.
2SA 8:6, 14 "The Lord gave victory to David wherever he went."
2SA 8:13 David slew 18,000 Edomites in the valley of salt and made the rest slaves.
2SA 10:18 David slew 47,000+ Syrians.
2SA 11:14-27 David has Uriah killed so that he can marry Uriah's wife, Bathsheba.
2SA 12:1, 19 The Lord strikes David's child dead for the sin that David has committed.
2SA 24:15 The Lord sends a pestilence on Israel that kills 70,000 men.
1KI 13:15-24 A man is killed by a lion for eating bread and drinking water in a place where the Lord had previously told him not to. This is in spite of the fact that the man had subsequently been lied to by a prophet who told the man that an angel of the Lord said that it would be alright to eat and drink there.
2KI 1:10-12 Fire from heaven comes down and consumes fifty men
2KI 2:23-24 Forty-two children are mauled and killed, presumably according to the will of God, for having jeered at a man of God.
2KI 6:18-19 The Lord answers Elisha's prayer and strikes the Syrians with blindness. Elisha tricks the blind Syrians and leads them to Samaria.
2KI 15:3-5 Even though he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, the Lord smites Azariah with leprosy for not having removed the "high places."
2KI 19:35 An angel of the Lord kills 185,000 men.
2KI 19:35 (KJV) "...the angel of the Lord...smote...an hundred four score and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning ... they were all dead...."
EZ 6:12-13 The Lord says: "... they will fall by the sword, famine and plague. He that is far away will die of the plague, and he that is near will fall by the sword, and he that survives and is spared will die of famine. So will I spend my wrath upon them. And they will know I am the Lord, when the people lie slain among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and on all the mountaintops, under every spreading tree and every leafy oak ...."
EZ 9:4-6 The Lord commands: "... slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women ...."
EZ 20:26 In order that he might horrify them, the Lord allowed the Israelites to defile themselves through, amongst other things, the sacrifice of their first-born children.
EZ 21:3-4 The Lord says that he will cut off both the righteous and the wicked that his sword shall go against all flesh.
EZ 23:25, 47 God is going to slay the sons and daughters of those who were whores.
JE 20:7, EZ 14:9 Jeremiah says that the Lord deceived his own prophet. God himself says that he deceives his own prophets in order to get rid of them.
MI 3:2-3 "... who pluck off their skin ..., and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron."
MT 3:12, 8:12, 10:21, 13:30, 42, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, LK 13:28, JN 5:24 Some will spend eternity burning in Hell. There will be weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.
MT 10:21 "... the brother shall deliver up his brother to death, and the father his child, ... children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death."
MT 10:35-36 "For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law a man's enemies will be the members of his own family."
MT 11:21-24 Jesus curses [the inhabitants of] three cities who were not sufficiently impressed with his great works.
II Thessalonians 2:11 "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."


Exodus 20:15 "Thou shalt not steal."
Leviticus 19:13 "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob him."
vs.
Exodus 3:22 "And ye shall spoil the Egyptians."
Exodus 12:35-36 "And they spoiled [plundered, NRSV] the Egyptians."
Luke 19:29-34 "[Jesus] sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village . . . ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. . . . And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him."


Exodus 20:8 "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy."
Exodus 31:15 "Whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."
vs.
John 5:16 "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day."
Colossians 2:16 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy-day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days."


Exodus 20:4 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven . . . earth . . . water."
vs.
Exodus 25:18 "And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them."
I Kings 7:15,16,23,25 "For he [Solomon] cast two pillars of brass . . . and two chapiters of molten brass . . . And he made a molten sea . . . it stood upon twelve oxen, etc., etc."


Malachi 3:6 "For I am the Lord; I change not."
Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent."
Ezekiel 24:14 "I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent."
James 1:17 " . . . the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
vs.
Exodus 32:14 "And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people."
Genesis 6:6,7 "And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth . . . And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth . . . for it repenteth me that I have made him."
Jonah 3:10 ". . . and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not."
See also II Kings 20:1-7, Numbers 16:20-35, Numbers 16:44-50.
See Genesis 18:23-33, where Abraham gets God to change his mind about the minimum number of righteous people in Sodom required to avoid destruction, bargaining down from fifty to ten. (An omniscient God must have known that he was playing with Abraham's hopes for mercy--he destroyed the city anyway.)


Psalm 145:9 "The Lord is good to all."
Deuteronomy 32:4 "a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."
vs.
Isaiah 45:7 "I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things." See "Out of Context" for more on Isaiah 45:7.
Lamentations 3:38 "Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?"
Jeremiah 18:11 "Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you."
Ezekiel 20:25,26 "I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord."


James 1:13 "Let no man say . . . I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man."
vs.
Genesis 22:1 "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham."


John 8:14 "Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true."
vs.
John 5:31 "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."


Jeremiah 32:27 "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?
Matthew 19:26 "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."
vs.
Judges 1:19 "And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron."

Human sacrifice:
Genesis 22:2 "And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
Exodus 22:29 "For thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors; the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me."
Judges 11:30-39 "And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hand, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon . . . and the Lord delivered them into his hands. . . . And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: . . . And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed."
II Samuel 21:8-14 "But the king [David] took the two sons of Rizpah . . . and the five sons of Michal . . . and he delivered them into the hands of the Gideonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest . . . And after that God was intreated for the land."
Hebrews 10:10-12 " . . . we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ . . . But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God."
I Corinthians 5:7 " . . . For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."

    Go ahead explain your self.

God had no time to create time.


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StMichael wrote: God

StMichael wrote:
God created man to love Him and to be happy with Him.

Why? I need to know his reason for wanting me to love him and be happy with him in order to make an informed decision on whether or not I should. Otherwise, I am simply doing it because I am being told I should and it is meaningless.

Quote:
Turning away from what we ought to do is precisely hell.

Why is what god thinks we ought to do what we ought to do?

Describing hell this way makes it meaningless. If that is hell then why should anyone care?  

Quote:
God did not give us the choice to turn away, but merely the choice to choose Him.

No. Necessarilly, if we you believe we have freewill, then we have the choice to turn away as well as the choice to choose him or not. 

Quote:
Sin entered the world as the result of the rejection of this choice, but God did not intend it, nor did He want it to happen.

God created knowing this would happen so his intent is irrelevant. If I know ahead a time that a weapon I create, which can destory the universe, will indeed be used to destroy the universe, yet I still create the weapon, then I either wanted it to happen or I am a blithering idiot.

As for the freewilled choice illusion, think of human existence as a highway. The edges of the highway are the parameters of human existence as defined by god in the nature of the existence he created. On this highway, I can not shoot laser beams out of my big toe, or create my own universe and be the god of it, or know everything that is and ever will be in this universe; these nearly infinite amount of possible possibilities which do not exist are the land on either side of the highway.

Now, ahead on this highway there is a fork. One direction leads to eternal bliss, the other to eternal torture (deprivation of love, however you deal with accepting the concept of hell and conforming it to your god concept). If I wanted to give you freewill I would have to allow you to drive off road. To turn around and go back. To bypass the destinations at the end of the fork in the road completely if you wish. If I do not then you don't have freewill you are simply on a one way highway to a pre-decided destination. You can drive in different lanes but the destination is always the same no matter the lane you choose. You will always end up at the fork.

When you get to the fork in the highway, god is standing there operating a swinging gate. At this point god will either open the gate and let you take the heaven fork, or keep it closed and force you to take the hell fork. The lanes you drove in before you got to the gate are how he makes the decision of whether or not he opens the gate. Of course, he created the lanes and decided which ones being used allowed him to open the gate and which ones did not. It is solely his discretion.

Now that you've arrived at these gates god will not allow you to choose whether or not he opens the heaven gate. What's done is done. If he does not open the heaven gate you will be on the other fork eternally with no way to turn around and get back to the heaven gate. You are, in fact, condemned to it even though the lanes you drove in to get to the gate were poorly marked, if marked at all, and in comparison to eternal lanes so short as to be non-existent.

To top all this off, god at the gate is the reason the highway, the gate, you, and every minute detail involved in this scenario aside from himself, exist in the first place and he knew before he even created them what lanes would be used by which of his creations. There is no other reason for them being there aside from that he created them. It is all simply his will with no rhyme, reason, or rationale, as none can be required from him as the only being in existence with any power.   

This is freewill, justice, choice, heaven and hell. All pre-decided and the sole responsibility of god. 


“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


StMichael
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Quote: Damn it to hell,

Quote:

Damn it to hell, Michael!  This is the most stupid thing you've ever said.  I'm genuinely aggravated now.

What is a choice, Michael?  It's two things.  You choose one or the other.  A choice cannot involve only one option.  If god created everything, and offered people one choice, then he offered them another choice, too.

Seriously, are you insane, lying, or are you really not intelligent enough to see how crazy your statement is?

It was not a choice to accept or turn away. The choice God offered was a choice between goods. To explain this, let's look at the angels; an angel cannot, by nature, will evil (as a human cannot). The angels, further, unlike humans cannot even will a real evil (as humans can, under the appearance of good), but know perfectly what they are doing. How, then, does Satan sin? Satan sinned by willing a particular good - his own - inordinately and thus sinned against the Good itself, God.

Human beings were never presented by God with a decision to choose evil and in fact such a problem never arose in their own nature. Human beings, though, are not like angels in that our intellects know in an imperfect way compared to their complete and full grasp of whatever they know. Our intellects can indirectly will an evil, like adultery, if we think it to be a good. Our knowing in the Garden involved deception by the devil, being tempted to choose our own good over God. This was the sin of pride that caused the Fall. Not choosing an evil, but choosing one of the goods God presents us with over Him. This choice then become evil, as it offends the goodness of God and leads us away from Him at into hell. 

 I hope this clears things up. I am neither lying, nor crazy, nor anything other than trying to explain the reality.

Quote:
 


Have you even looked in the Hamurook's section at the list of people God directed the Israelites to kill?  You have read your bible, haven't you?

I have read commands in Scripture for Israel to wage war against opposing nations and to impose the Ban, and to do any number of things. However, I would point out that it is highly irrelevant if God ordered these or not, because God Himself cannot be a murderer. This is easily seen from the fact that EVERY death is "His fault" and EVERY birth is "His doing." Applying "murder" to God is to anthropomorphize Him. He is beyond this particular moral category, because He is not infringing on anyone's right to life. 

 We could discuss the reason God commanded Israel to wage war, but I find it to be needless considering that it seems you have your mind made up already. 

 

Quote:

I need to know his reason for wanting me to love him and be happy with him in order to make an informed decision on whether or not I should.

Well, purely for the reason that God is the source of the goodness of anything else good in the world. There is nothing outside of God that you can love. God's motive for wanting you to be happy with Him is merely pure love for you. That is why He created you, me, and the universe.

 

Quote:

God created knowing this would happen so his intent is irrelevant. If I know ahead a time that a weapon I create, which can destory the universe, will indeed be used to destroy the universe, yet I still create the weapon, then I either wanted it to happen or I am a blithering idiot.

God knew it would happen, but did not wish this to happen. He allowed it to happen for the greater good. This, for example, is why the Incarnation and Passion was something determined at the beginning of creation. God knew we would Fall, He did not want it to happen, but allowed it to happen because of our free choice, but nevertheless sent His Son to redeem us from our sin. The doctrine of double effect.

 

 

Quote:

When you get to the fork in the highway, god is standing there operating a swinging gate. At this point god will either open the gate and let you take the heaven fork, or keep it closed and force you to take the hell fork.

Except that this is not what God does. God does not deny people heaven, ever. If they cooperate with His grace and freely choose heaven, in every case, that person will go to heaven. There is no predestination to hell. God likewise never determines any of the choices we make in "lanes," nor did He determine what choices we would make. The only predetermined factor in the highway was the fact that lanes exist and that we could choose freely whichever place we wanted. God only predetermined that our choices would be free, and never the content of those choices. We do have free and voluntary actions, and these are the subject of our judgement before God. If we had involuntary actions or we acted out of pure and invincible ignorance, we have an excuse and God does not condemn us based on what we have no control over. 

What you present is a Calvinist picture of the universe, which the Catholic Church condemned long ago as heresy, and which even most Protestant Christians condemn as heretical. The Catholic picture is free choice, undetermined by God. Every man can freely attain salvation by cooperating with God's grace. No one is predestined to Hell.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


jcgadfly
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St. Michael, If willing our

St. Michael,

If willing our own good is considered a sin to the god you claim to be ultimate good, wouldn't that imply our own good to be evil in comparison? Doesn't that shoot down the "choice between goods" argument you made?

Did you really say God didn't want the Fall to happen but planned for it because he knew it was going to happen anyway?

Could he have known it was going to happen because he set up the conditions so that no other result was possible? 

Doesn't man having free and volunatary actions deny God's omniscience? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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StMichael wrote: Vessel

StMichael wrote:
Vessel wrote:
I need to know his reason for wanting me to love him and be happy with him in order to make an informed decision on whether or not I should.
 

Well, purely for the reason that God is the source of the goodness of anything else good in the world. There is nothing outside of God that you can love. God's motive for wanting you to be happy with Him is merely pure love for you. That is why He created you, me, and the universe.

There being nothing outside of a god that one can love is not a reason why a god is something one should love. It could be a reason why, if one is to love, one must love god, but not a reason as to why one should. Because a god is the source of all 'good' is not a reason why one should desire 'good'. These are poor attempts at defining an undefinable god concept not answers as to why one should love a god. The only reason why one should love a god in an existence that is wholly created by that god is because that god deemed it so. All reasons are defined by that god and therefor are not valid reasons, but instead, are merely reasons he creates. 

 So, you say your god created you, me, and the universe (seems like a little overkill there) because he wanted us to be happy with him because he loves us. But, if he didn't create us we wouldn't need to be happy with him.  

 

St Michael wrote:
Vessel wrote:
God created knowing this would happen so his intent is irrelevant. If I know ahead a time that a weapon I create, which can destory the universe, will indeed be used to destroy the universe, yet I still create the weapon, then I either wanted it to happen or I am a blithering idiot.

God knew it would happen, but did not wish this to happen. He allowed it to happen for the greater good. This, for example, is why the Incarnation and Passion was something determined at the beginning of creation. God knew we would Fall, He did not want it to happen, but allowed it to happen because of our free choice, but nevertheless sent His Son to redeem us from our sin. The doctrine of double effect.

He knew it was going to happen. He created unecessarilly existing beings anyway. He is responsible. The greater good is only relevant post-creation.  

 

StMichael wrote:
Vessel wrote:
When you get to the fork in the highway, god is standing there operating a swinging gate. At this point god will either open the gate and let you take the heaven fork, or keep it closed and force you to take the hell fork.

Except that this is not what God does. God does not deny people heaven, ever. If they cooperate with His grace and freely choose heaven, in every case, that person will go to heaven.

Note the bolded words. If they do not do this thing that god decided they must do, then he won't open the gate. God decided they must "freely" choose heaven or else they would be condemned to hell.

Quote:
There is no predestination to hell. God likewise never determines any of the choices we make in "lanes," nor did He determine what choices we would make.

I said nothing of predestination, only of the illusion of freedom and choice. 

He created the lanes, created the requirement we must use them, created the brains with which we decide which ones to use, created the narrow parameters out of all possibly possible parameters in which the lanes exist. We don't have a choice to not drive on the lanes. Or to drive the other way. Or to park on the side of the highway. Or to get to the fork then back up and drive in different lanes. By the fact that god created everything that exists and everything that ever will exist, set the parameters for existence itself, created what it is to choose or not choose, created what it means to believe or not believe, created unecessary beings, created what they understand as being free or not being free, created and set the parameters of their will, their nature, their comprehension, their environment, their choice, god is responsible for all these things. He is also responsible for requiring that you believe in him to not go to hell. 

Even if you can make a case that humans possess a limited freewill (within the parameters of the god's particular created reality- the freedom to choose lanes) that is no reason that god should not make absolute knowledge of his existence a necessary part of every being and make it so that everyone experience heaven upon their death. That is no more a restriction of my freewill than not being able to think Fritos into existence is. I could still choose between toilet papers and internet providers, paper or plastic. It is completely arbitrary of this god to set this belief and acceptance requirement for your admission to heaven and call it necessary to freewill when my restriction of being able to choose between scales and skin is not. By doing this he is deciding whether or not he will open the gate based on some standard he himself set. 

Quote:
The only predetermined factor in the highway was the fact that lanes exist and that we could choose freely whichever place we wanted. God only predetermined that our choices would be free, and never the content of those choices. We do have free and voluntary actions, and these are the subject of our judgement before God. If we had involuntary actions or we acted out of pure and invincible ignorance, we have an excuse and God does not condemn us based on what we have no control over.

What you present is a Calvinist picture of the universe, which the Catholic Church condemned long ago as heresy, and which even most Protestant Christians condemn as heretical. The Catholic picture is free choice, undetermined by God. Every man can freely attain salvation by cooperating with God's grace. No one is predestined to Hell.

 Yes. If it weren't for all the other problems inherent to the concept of a personal deity or the complete lack of reason to even consider one's existence in the first place the Calvinists would seem to be the most reasoned to me. At least they seem to come to a rational conclusion about what their belief says about human existence. 

 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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StMichael wrote:  Every

StMichael wrote:
 Every man can freely attain salvation by cooperating with God's grace. No one is predestined to Hell.

 If a second century Chinese farmer who is kind to his family and good to his neighbors never hears the Gospel then does he go to hell?  If so, how can that not be predetermination?  If the ignorant get a free pass, then wouldn’t it be better to keep us all in the dark?  That way no one goes to hell.  


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Quote:

Quote:

 

If willing our own good is considered a sin to the god you claim to be ultimate good, wouldn't that imply our own good to be evil in comparison? Doesn't that shoot down the "choice between goods" argument you made?

Not at all. Our own good is a good, but in the proper relationship to God and in the proper proportion. The sin lied in willing the good of the self too much.

Quote:

Did you really say God didn't want the Fall to happen but planned for it because he knew it was going to happen anyway?

Yes, in a sense.

Quote:

Could he have known it was going to happen because he set up the conditions so that no other result was possible?

No, other possibilities could happen. God just knew that one would happen. You forget that God does not exist in time. His knowledge of all events is as if they are happening/have already happened. All time is present to Him in a single moment. Our actions are free, even though God foreknows what our free choices are going to be. It is possible for us to do something entirely different. Human beings could not have fallen, in which case the world today would be very different. However, we did.

Quote:

Doesn't man having free and volunatary actions deny God's omniscience?

Not at all, for the reason above. God foreknows but does not predetermine our actions. His foreknowledge is not the cause of why we will some thing over another. He just exists outside of time in such a way that all decisions past, present, and future, are present to Him instantly in one moment. It would be like saying that, if I stand on a hill and see all the trucks moving by in the entire valley, that I predetermined their courses. God does no such thing.

 

Quote:

 

 

There being nothing outside of a god that one can love is not a reason why a god is something one should love. It could be a reason why, if one is to love, one must love god, but not a reason as to why one should. Because a god is the source of all 'good' is not a reason why one should desire 'good'. These are poor attempts at defining an undefinable god concept not answers as to why one should love a god. The only reason why one should love a god in an existence that is wholly created by that god is because that god deemed it so. All reasons are defined by that god and therefor are not valid reasons, but instead, are merely reasons he creates.

God does not create why we should love Him. His nature is intrinsically infinitely lovable. I think you misunderstand what I mean by "good." By "good" I mean all that which appears desirable to us. A pleasure of the body is a form of a good. It is a good to feel rested after waking in the morning. Pleasure is a good. However, these are created goods, which draw their desirableness from God. God is desirableness itself. It is like mistaking the shoe for the foot.

Quote:

So, you say your god created you, me, and the universe (seems like a little overkill there) because he wanted us to be happy with him because he loves us. But, if he didn't create us we wouldn't need to be happy with him.

If He hadn't created us, there would be no "us" for us to be happy or unhappy. We simply wouldn't exist. However, in love, God wished for other creatures to be happy. Thus, the universe.

Quote:

He knew it was going to happen. He created unecessarilly existing beings anyway. He is responsible. The greater good is only relevant post-creation.

The greater good exists to God at the same moment He creates. All time is one moment present to God. He is not responsible in any way for the free choices of His beings. He created us free and it is our sin alone that determined our course to hell.

Quote:

Note the bolded words. If they do not do this thing that god decided they must do, then he won't open the gate. God decided they must "freely" choose heaven or else they would be condemned to hell.

But they can freely choose either heaven or hell. And God did not decide that. Heaven or hell are matters of choosing the good or not choosing the good. An intelligent, rational being such as an angel or a man by nature have the ability to choose. To choose the highest good is happiness. Happiness cannot exist without the will. If the will doesn't exist, there is no way that happiness can exist.

Quote:

I said nothing of predestination, only of the illusion of freedom and choice.

There is no illusion. The problem is that you start off with a preconcieved Calvinism that is unproven. You assume that God gives you no choice. But this is neither here nor there. What is at issue is whether God has. The two sources that prove that He has are revelation and reason. Revelation, which is more important in this context, tells us very clearly that we have free choice. Reason likewise tells us this, when it shows us the nature of the will and its relation to God, who moves everything according to its nature.

Predestination, in this strict view, is the same as an illusion of freedom and choice.

Quote:

We don't have a choice to not drive on the lanes. Or to drive the other way. Or to park on the side of the highway. Or to get to the fork then back up and drive in different lanes.

The problem with your reasoning is that YOU DO.

If you wish to maintain that you do not, you must prove that Christian revelation is false, and not attack a position which Christianity neither holds nor advocates. You must further prove this to be a logical necessity following from natural arguments both for the existence of God and for His nature. Both of which do not exist.

Quote:

By the fact that god created everything that exists and everything that ever will exist, set the parameters for existence itself, created what it is to choose or not choose, created what it means to believe or not believe, created unecessary beings, created what they understand as being free or not being free, created and set the parameters of their will, their nature, their comprehension, their environment, their choice, god is responsible for all these things. He is also responsible for requiring that you believe in him to not go to hell.

Again, just because God creates things does not necessitate that they are predetermined. God can and does create free agents. The act of His creation in no way logically leads to the fact that humanity is not free.

Again, if you wish to maintain this as an attack on Christian doctrine, you cannot claim that we hold this as we manifestly DO NOT. It is a clear straw man argument.

Quote:

Even if you can make a case that humans possess a limited freewill (within the parameters of the god's particular created reality- the freedom to choose lanes) that is no reason that god should not make absolute knowledge of his existence a necessary part of every being and make it so that everyone experience heaven upon their death. That is no more a restriction of my freewill than not being able to think Fritos into existence is. I could still choose between toilet papers and internet providers, paper or plastic. It is completely arbitrary of this god to set this belief and acceptance requirement for your admission to heaven and call it necessary to freewill when my restriction of being able to choose between scales and skin is not. By doing this he is deciding whether or not he will open the gate based on some standard he himself set.

God does not set any standard. The standard is inherent in the nature of choice and happiness itself. God is the rules.

Belief in Revelation (which is not the same as holding that God exists, but beyond it; such as belief in the sacraments, or the teaching authority of the Church, or the Trinity) is required not because it is just an arbitrary requirement. Faith in these are required because they explain the nature of reality and tell us what is necessary on our part to attain Paradise. We know by reason that we cannot attain our supernatural end without the aid of God. God's Revelation tells us how to obtain said grace in a sure and certain way.

Quote:

Yes. If it weren't for all the other problems inherent to the concept of a personal deity or the complete lack of reason to even consider one's existence in the first place the Calvinists would seem to be the most reasoned to me. At least they seem to come to a rational conclusion about what their belief says about human existence.

"...the complete lack of reason to even consider one's existence in the first place...." What is this supposed to mean? I see no problems you present that pose a serious difficulty to Christian thought. The most you have offered is that you believe that God predetermines all human action. But this is a belief of yours, not an article that is taught by Christianity. There is further no contradiction with the idea of God's actions in creating the universe. There is no logical necessity that creation entails total and utter predetermination.

 

 EDIT:

Sorry, I forgot the other question.

Quote:

 If a second century Chinese farmer who is kind to his family and good to his neighbors never hears the Gospel then does he go to hell?  If so, how can that not be predetermination?  If the ignorant get a free pass, then wouldn’t it be better to keep us all in the dark?  That way no one goes to hell. 

A second century Chinese farmer who never heard of Christ could be saved. The reason is because God gave human beings the ability to know what is right and wrong naturally. However, while the farmer could be saved, this is little guarantee that he will be saved. God judges, of course, based on His knowledge of the circumstance. But we do know that, because of original sin, human nature has a propensity to do evil so that it would be very hard and virtually impossible for any man without baptism to avoid mortally sinning. Even with such aid, it is difficult for many. Also, Revelation helps us by grace (such as baptism and the other sacraments) as well as by doctrine. So, while we could and can know what we ought to do morally, sometimes our conclusions are wrong. Original sin likewise entails that human knowledge is not always correct; people make mistakes in judgement. It does not obliterate our ability to do good or to know the good, but it hampers it significantly. So, while it was possible according to God's grace to be saved prior to Christ's Redemption, and after if one is invincibly ignorant of the Gospel, it makes a much harder road to salvation. To be saved is better in the boat, where one is secure, than outside where you hang on to the boat by a cord. This is one of the chief reasons that the Catholic Church exists and why God revealed many things that we could know ourselves - to show us a clear and certain path to salvation.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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...and the hits just keep

...and the hits just keep comming.  I used to like Michael for his level-headedness, but now he's gone into that "circular logic" realm, that I cannot in any way respect.  Hamby, I'm jumpin' ship too, make room in the life-boat for me!

The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.


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Could he have known it was
I wrote:

Could he have known it was going to happen because he set up the conditions so that no other result was possible?

St. Mike wrote: 

No, other possibilities could happen. God just knew that one would happen. You forget that God does not exist in time. His knowledge of all events is as if they are happening/have already happened. All time is present to Him in a single moment. Our actions are free, even though God foreknows what our free choices are going to be. It is possible for us to do something entirely different. Human beings could not have fallen, in which case the world today would be very different. However, we did.

--- 

Congratulations, lad. You contradicted yourself several times in one paragraph.

I'm sure others here can see that. Maybe they'll tell you where if you ask nicely.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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There is no contradiction.

There is no contradiction. God foreknows but does not predetermine action. If you can't answer my arguments, just say so instead of just retreating into your own opinions.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: There is

StMichael wrote:

There is no contradiction. God foreknows but does not predetermine action. If you can't answer my arguments, just say so instead of just retreating into your own opinions.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

What opinions? It is a fact weither you like it or not that you believe in an ancient myth. No one here can help you with that delusion unless you admit you have a problem.

But do not sit there and claim to be the arbiter of truth when you ultimat cop out is "My deity did it".

Nothing new under the sun  and there are bilions of others who think they got it right with their ficitional heros too. You will not win with that line and we are not fooled by your constant distractions. 

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StMichael wrote: God

StMichael wrote:

God tortures nobody.


Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

Typical. You dont want to see the bible for what it is.

Now the reality of why it was written stems from all the ancient cultures before, leading up to and after the Hebrews. All cultures back then needed to stick together to survive. So the literature reflected that group club mentality. The polythiests prior to monotheism had the same motif in their deities and theme of " I will defend my people".

You merely baught into the newist marketing scam steming from older themes and fairy tales. But for you to sit there and say the words in the bible do not discribe extreem pain and suffering to those who reject that deity is absurd.

I've swallowed and gaged on watter in a pool before and that was painfull. If we are to buy the cruel story of god getting pissed at what he created and could have "poof" made the sinners dissapear without drownding. BUT ACCORDING TO THE WORDS IN THE BIBLE THEY DID! WOMEN, BABIES AND CHILDREN AND MEN.

The Abrahmaci god stems from a mix of prior polythiesm. It is a product of newer cultures competing with religious stories by incoprerating older ideas from other culturs.

Saying Christianity or any religion for that mattter, calling any religion original is like saying, "Coke is the first drink because it's can is red".

Religion is merely a competition between fiction perpetrated by people who believe that fiction to be fact. You are merely another deluded person and no different than any other person who makes magical claims and believes them to be real and does mental gymastics to justify the absurd. 

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jcgadfly wrote: I

jcgadfly wrote:
I wrote:

Could he have known it was going to happen because he set up the conditions so that no other result was possible?

St. Mike wrote:

No, other possibilities could happen. God just knew that one would happen. You forget that God does not exist in time. His knowledge of all events is as if they are happening/have already happened. All time is present to Him in a single moment. Our actions are free, even though God foreknows what our free choices are going to be. It is possible for us to do something entirely different. Human beings could not have fallen, in which case the world today would be very different. However, we did.

---

Congratulations, lad. You contradicted yourself several times in one paragraph.

I'm sure others here can see that. Maybe they'll tell you where if you ask nicely.

Ok, Ill be nice and point them out to you.

"No, other possibilities could happen. God just knew that one would happen."

God only knew of ONE possibility. So he's not omniscient.

You wrote:

"You forget that God does not exist in time. His knowledge of all events is as if they are happening/have already happened. All time is present to Him in a single moment."

Now he is omnisicient again.

 

You wrote:

"Our actions are free,..."

 So we can do things God doesn't know about - not omniscient.

"even though God foreknows what our free choices are going to be."

He's omniscient again and our actions aren't free. What an out for God. No matter what we do it's all in god's plan. You do realize that implies that since God knew those here were going to become athiests, that means we're following His plan. 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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jcgadfly wrote: jcgadfly

jcgadfly wrote:
jcgadfly wrote:
I wrote:

Could he have known it was going to happen because he set up the conditions so that no other result was possible?

St. Mike wrote:

No, other possibilities could happen. God just knew that one would happen. You forget that God does not exist in time. His knowledge of all events is as if they are happening/have already happened. All time is present to Him in a single moment. Our actions are free, even though God foreknows what our free choices are going to be. It is possible for us to do something entirely different. Human beings could not have fallen, in which case the world today would be very different. However, we did.

---

Congratulations, lad. You contradicted yourself several times in one paragraph.

I'm sure others here can see that. Maybe they'll tell you where if you ask nicely.

Ok, Ill be nice and point them out to you.

"No, other possibilities could happen. God just knew that one would happen."

God only knew of ONE possibility. So he's not omniscient.

You wrote:

"You forget that God does not exist in time. His knowledge of all events is as if they are happening/have already happened. All time is present to Him in a single moment."

Now he is omnisicient again.

 

You wrote:

"Our actions are free,..."

So we can do things God doesn't know about - not omniscient.

"even though God foreknows what our free choices are going to be."

He's omniscient again and our actions aren't free. What an out for God. No matter what we do it's all in god's plan. You do realize that implies that since God knew those here were going to become athiests, that means we're following His plan.

Trying to nail him on this point is like trying to eat soup out of a spaggetti strainer. He is so deluded that he has to dodge the obvious to make it work and the only way he can make it work is by ignoring reality. 

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Brian37 wrote: Trying to

Brian37 wrote:
Trying to nail him on this point is like trying to eat soup out of a spaggetti strainer. He is so deluded that he has to dodge the obvious to make it work and the only way he can make it work is by ignoring reality.
I have an idea. Lets ignore him.

God had no time to create time.


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Pikachu wrote: Brian37

Pikachu wrote:
Brian37 wrote:
Trying to nail him on this point is like trying to eat soup out of a spaggetti strainer. He is so deluded that he has to dodge the obvious to make it work and the only way he can make it work is by ignoring reality.
I have an idea. Lets ignore him.

Can't aford to in a world full of people who vote their deities into office and in a world where people blow things up in hopes of becoming the alpha male of the planet.

I'm not ignoring him, to do such is to be complacent. If religious people treated their beliefs like a pastime or hobby and did not use it as a political tool or worldview, I would ignor him.

It is to dangerous for the species to ignor people like this. 

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Quote: God does not create


Quote:
God does not create why we should love Him. His nature is intrinsically infinitely lovable. I think you misunderstand what I mean by "good." By "good" I mean all that which appears desirable to us. A pleasure of the body is a form of a good. It is a good to feel rested after waking in the morning. Pleasure is a good. However, these are created goods, which draw their desirableness from God. God is desirableness itself. It is like mistaking the shoe for the foot.

You answered nothing. You say stuff like pleasure is a good, but that leads nowhere because what we consider pleasure we only consider pleasure because that's what your god made us to consider pleasure. When you say a good is that which is desireable to us,that which is desirable to us is only so because god made it so. He could have made us to hate your ethereal floating god 'goods' and only taken people who did not believe in him into heaven. 

Quote:
If He hadn't created us, there would be no "us" for us to be happy or unhappy. We simply wouldn't exist. However, in love, God wished for other creatures to be happy. Thus, the universe.

And gave us no freewill to choose whether or not to be created yet holds us eternally responsible for existing after being created, which was solely his doing. Way to make happy creatures G. Are you sure he isn't mentally impaired? 


Quote:
The greater good exists to God at the same moment He creates. All time is one moment present to God. He is not responsible in any way for the free choices of His beings. He created us free and it is our sin alone that determined our course to hell.

Firstly, a moment is time referential. Second, if this were so humans would make no choices from god's perspective. It would be as if he was viewing a painting. That is the only rational way to make sense of a, whatever the hell god is supposed to be, having all time present to him as one moment. Subjects in paintings make no choices. If you know of another rational, comprehendable way to understand viewing choices and actions all happening without time please be so kind as to offer it in plain everyday English. 

Quote:
But they can freely choose either heaven or hell. And God did not decide that. Heaven or hell are matters of choosing the good or not choosing the good. An intelligent, rational being such as an angel or a man by nature have the ability to choose. To choose the highest good is happiness. Happiness cannot exist without the will. If the will doesn't exist, there is no way that happiness can exist.

The good is only what we should choose because it is what god says we should choose. If god had decided to make us so that we were made happy by sticking knives into unsuspecting passersby  then that is what would make us happy.  If god had decided to make us beings that were happy without will that is what he could have made us. And in the end if god wanted to let us into heaven for eating chili dogs then that would be the criteria by which it was decided whether or not we were let into heaven. 

 

Quote:
There is no illusion. The problem is that you start off with a preconcieved Calvinism that is unproven.

No. I am starting of simply with a god who created everything in existence and every law by which everything in existence exists. I not starting with pre-conceived Calvinism, unproven or otherwise. 

Quote:
You assume that God gives you no choice.

No I don't. Do you really read what I write? God gives you what you know as a choice from your god created perspective. The choice between choosing what he has decided he wants you to choose or to choose what he decided he doesn't want you to choose. And he has set up every possible parameter within which you make this choice, the way you make choices, you, everything. It is all his doing and his responsibility.


Quote:
Predestination, in this strict view, is the same as an illusion of freedom and choice.

If you think so then fine. I could care less whether you call it illusory choice and freewill, predestination, or gymboree. The point is this is the way things necessarilly must be in a god created universe.

Quote:
Vessel wrote:
We don't have a choice to not drive on the lanes. Or to drive the other way. Or to park on the side of the highway. Or to get to the fork then back up and drive in different lanes.

The problem with your reasoning is that YOU DO.

If you wish to maintain that you do not, you must prove that Christian revelation is false, and not attack a position which Christianity neither holds nor advocates. You must further prove this to be a logical necessity following from natural arguments both for the existence of God and for His nature. Both of which do not exist.

Okay, if you think we can do those things I listed above you completely misunderstand the entire highway analogy. please re-read it before making a claim that we can go back in time or create our own realities.

As to the rest of your complaining, I am not arguing that any of this is what your church teaches. What you or they teach is irrelevant to what would be necesarily true of the god created existence you and many creator god monotheistic religions propose. 


Quote:
Again, just because God creates things does not necessitate that they are predetermined. God can and does create free agents. The act of His creation in no way logically leads to the fact that humanity is not free.

God created our concept of freedom. We can not do as god does so obviously we are do not have freedom as god experiences freedom. What we call freedom is simply what god created us to think of as freedom. Again he is responsible for existence, everything, parameters, yada, yada, yada...  

Quote:
Again, if you wish to maintain this as an attack on Christian doctrine, you cannot claim that we hold this as we manifestly DO NOT. It is a clear straw man argument.

I could care less about the Christian doctrine. The Christian doctrine has nothing to do with either reality nor truth. What I am describing is the necessary reality of a god created everything. I do not need to rely on doctrine and revelation to come to obvious conclusions.  

Quote:
God does not set any standard. The standard is inherent in the nature of choice and happiness itself. God is the rules.

What humans know as choice can only be what god created humans to see as choice, because... created, everything, parameters, yada... We don't have the ability to choose to create our own universe of happy creatures to love us and go to our heaven or our hell depending on their concept of choice we created for them, so we do not have choice as god knows choice.  

Quote:
Belief in Revelation (which is not the same as holding that God exists, but beyond it; such as belief in the sacraments, or the teaching authority of the Church, or the Trinity) is required not because it is just an arbitrary requirement. Faith in these are required because they explain the nature of reality and tell us what is necessary on our part to attain Paradise. We know by reason that we cannot attain our supernatural end without the aid of God. God's Revelation tells us how to obtain said grace in a sure and certain way.

Irrelevant to the discussion. Revelation is meaningless to me.


Quote:
"...the complete lack of reason to even consider one's existence in the first place...." What is this supposed to mean? I see no problems you present that pose a serious difficulty to Christian thought.

It means what it says. Its not in code. I see no reason to ever begin to consider the possibility of a god's existence. There is nothing that should lead one to think that one might exist and therefor to lead to looking for signs of ones existence. I do like the oxymoron at the end of the quote though.

Quote:
The most you have offered is that you believe that God predetermines all human action. But this is a belief of yours, not an article that is taught by Christianity.

I say nothing of god predetermining all action. It is not a belief of mine, I do not even believe in a god. What is taught by Christianity is irrelevant. 

Quote:
There is further no contradiction with the idea of God's actions in creating the universe.

Actions in creating the uiniverse? Are you starting another topic? 

Quote:
There is no logical necessity that creation entails total and utter predetermination.

I never said anything about predestination. 

 


“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Quote: You answered

Quote:

You answered nothing. You say stuff like pleasure is a good, but that leads nowhere because what we consider pleasure we only consider pleasure because that's what your god made us to consider pleasure. When you say a good is that which is desireable to us,that which is desirable to us is only so because god made it so. He could have made us to hate your ethereal floating god 'goods' and only taken people who did not believe in him into heaven.

No He couldn't have. God cannot redefine reality. A will by nature wills the good. There is no way God can change that.

Quote:
 

 


And gave us no freewill to choose whether or not to be created yet holds us eternally responsible for existing after being created, which was solely his doing.

God does not hold us responsible for our existence. We are responsible for our choices.

 

Quote:

 


Firstly, a moment is time referential.

Meaning what?

Quote:

Second, if this were so humans would make no choices from god's perspective. It would be as if he was viewing a painting. That is the only rational way to make sense of a, whatever the hell god is supposed to be, having all time present to him as one moment. Subjects in paintings make no choices. If you know of another rational, comprehendable way to understand viewing choices and actions all happening without time please be so kind as to offer it in plain everyday English. 

All things in time are in a state of eternal presence to God. For example, if I see John sitting in a chair, I am not making John sit in the chair. I impose no necessity on him. In the same way, God sees all actions in an eternal present, but His seeing them does not render them necessary.

Quote:

 

The good is only what we should choose because it is what god says we should choose. If god had decided to make us so that we were made happy by sticking knives into unsuspecting passersby  then that is what would make us happy.  If god had decided to make us beings that were happy without will that is what he could have made us. And in the end if god wanted to let us into heaven for eating chili dogs then that would be the criteria by which it was decided whether or not we were let into heaven.

But here is the issue: God does not create the criteria nor can He change it. Things are the way they are because they flow from the eternal nature of God. The Good is an absolute, as is Being. God being their source, He cannot contradict Himself. Good cannot be changed by God, nor can Being, nor can Truth. These are eternal and flow from God's own nature.

Quote:

 

 


No. I am starting of simply with a god who created everything in existence and every law by which everything in existence exists.

God does not create the laws by which things exist. He is the law by which they exist. Their being is a reflection/participation of His own and follows the rules which exist by nature in God.

 

Quote:

No I don't. Do you really read what I write? God gives you what you know as a choice from your god created perspective.

There, however, is a real choice. There is no illusion. You assume that God creates conditions by which we inevitably choose one thing over another. And this is in fact false. And if it were true, there would be no heaven or hell, punishments or reward, because nobody would be morally culpable for anything at all. But God did not create us this way at all.

 

Quote:

And he has set up every possible parameter within which you make this choice, the way you make choices, you, everything. It is all his doing and his responsibility.

The problem is that He hasn't. You ignore my point that God's own nature is the source of these "rules," not an arbitrary will.

Quote:
 


As to the rest of your complaining, I am not arguing that any of this is what your church teaches. What you or they teach is irrelevant to what would be necesarily true of the god created existence you and many creator god monotheistic religions propose. 

Then you must prove that this necessarily follows from God. Which you have not. 

Quote:
 

 

Q

God created our concept of freedom. We can not do as god does so obviously we are do not have freedom as god experiences freedom.

That is precisely the point. We do. God created us with a share in His own freedom.

 

Quote:

What we call freedom is simply what god created us to think of as freedom. Again he is responsible for existence, everything, parameters, yada, yada, yada...  

But, as I said above, He isn't. Certain things are necessary because God can't deny Himself. For example, love of God is a necessary correlate to attain heaven because this is what heaven is. There can be no other way. God cannot change it, it is not arbitrarily determined, God does not define the parameters, ect.

 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 


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StMichael wrote: No He

StMichael wrote:
No He couldn't have. God cannot redefine reality. A will by nature wills the good. There is no way God can change that.

If god can not redefine reality than god did not create reality. If god did not create reality then god exists subject to the natural laws of reality. If god exists subject to natural laws then there is that which is greater than god, in this case reality.  

 

Quote:
Vessel wrote:
]Firstly, a moment is time referential.

Meaning what?

Meaning that a moment exists in time. 

Quote:
All things in time are in a state of eternal presence to God. For example, if I see John sitting in a chair, I am not making John sit in the chair. I impose no necessity on him. In the same way, God sees all actions in an eternal present, but His seeing them does not render them necessary.

You are not explaining how god can see actions and choices, things that require time, in an eternal present. That is what I clearly asked you to do. I do not ask you to repeat the same rhetoric of seeing actions does not imopose necessity. If you have no ability to explain how one can see actions and choices in an eternal present then the concept is meaningless.  


Quote:
But here is the issue: God does not create the criteria nor can He change it. Things are the way they are because they flow from the eternal nature of God. The Good is an absolute, as is Being. God being their source, He cannot contradict Himself. Good cannot be changed by God, nor can Being, nor can Truth. These are eternal and flow from God's own nature.

A constrained god again. Every other point you make in this reply is based in a non-omnipotent god constrained by natural laws which would necessarily need to exist as a non-god-created reality in which this god resides. To have such a thing puts a nature above god and your god is no longer the greatest existence as this reality that constrains him must necessarily exist independent of him. 


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When I say God is subsitent

When I say God is subsitent existence, I mean that He is reality. He cannot "redefine" or change Himself, because He would be in potency to Himself, which is impossible. God is beyond created reality as its cause, but He is "being itself" in a subsistent way. "I am who am"

 Yes. moment is a time referent phrase. I just meant that He sees all things in eternity and not in time. The best way to conceptualize God is as seeing all time in a simultaneous "present." Of course our terms are very weak in describing something that is beyond our experience of time, but it is an analogy. 

 

 

Quote:

A constrained god again. Every other point you make in this reply is based in a non-omnipotent god constrained by natural laws which would necessarily need to exist as a non-god-created reality in which this god resides. To have such a thing puts a nature above god and your god is no longer the greatest existence as this reality that constrains him must necessarily exist independent of him.

 

No, God is still omnipotent. He just can't contradict Himself. He is not constrained by any laws other than the law of absolute logical necessity, because this flows from His nature. It is also not really accurate to say that God cannot do these things, and more descriptive and accurate to say that such things cannot be.

 

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael 

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: When I

StMichael wrote:

When I say God is subsitent existence, I mean that He is reality. He cannot "redefine" or change Himself, because He would be in potency to Himself, which is impossible. God is beyond created reality as its cause, but He is "being itself" in a subsistent way. "I am who am"


This seems like what pantheists do.  If God simply is the universe--all of reality, from which all laws are derived, etc--then God is simply the universe. We already have a word for that, so why call it God?

But then you say that God is beyond created reality as well, making you sound like a panentheist (this further supports my argument, argued elsewhere, that the distinction between pantheists and panentheists is the same as atheists and theists in most respects).  So, do the laws, absolutes, and universals come from reality or from the transcendent? You say things taht seem to imply that it could be either/both, but this seems to be a confused ontology.

Further, can you name something i the universe that is not what it is? "I am who I am" is simply A=A.  So if this is God (being), well, we already have a word for that.  

 All of this theology seems like it is saying that being is being, existence is existence, it is ultimate and cannot change or violate itself. StMichael calls it God and associates it with a complex and historical theology.  I call it the universe and don't see a need to associate it with any theology. One makes Mikey a Catholic, the otehr makes me an atheist.  Semantics....

Shaun 

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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StMichael wrote: When I

StMichael wrote:

When I say God is subsitent existence, I mean that He is reality. He cannot "redefine" or change Himself, because He would be in potency to Himself, which is impossible. God is beyond created reality as its cause, but He is "being itself" in a subsistent way. "I am who am"

Which basically says nothing any person should consider important. God is reality makes god a non-entity. He no longer need be an intelligence, he simply is. And if he is constrained by reality then he is constrained. There is a nature that constrains god, whether or not it is his nature is unimportant. If he is constrained then that which is greater can be. That which created god's nature can be.

Quote:
Yes. moment is a time referent phrase. I just meant that He sees all things in eternity and not in time. The best way to conceptualize God is as seeing all time in a simultaneous "present." Of course our terms are very weak in describing something that is beyond our experience of time, but it is an analogy.

Yes, my point is that, being as that it is something we can not even conceptualize or describe in any relevant manner, we have no capability to think it possible or even to be able to consider whether or not it is possible. It is a non-concept. 

 

Quote:
No, God is still omnipotent. He just can't contradict Himself. He is not constrained by any laws other than the law of absolute logical necessity, because this flows from His nature. It is also not really accurate to say that God cannot do these things, and more descriptive and accurate to say that such things cannot be.
 

So god is indistinguishable from what any atheist considers natural existence aside from the intelligence you ascribe to him. He is a being that exists differently than we do in such a way that he is indistinguishable, from any practical perspective, from the universe itself. I fail to see the point in having this belief in him with what you have put forth here. It all seems rather silly and unimportant. Why do as he wishes one to do? You have made the case that god does not grant us access to heaven or condemn us to hell, but that we freely choose one or the other. So, it is obviously unimportant what I do in life so long as I choose heaven.  

God is existence and yet you believe he is intelligent, but he is basically just a being constrained by his nature, but has got some awesome power, but he can not change that nature nor can he contradict logic, but there is life after death in either heaven or hell (being as that purgatory is now closed for remodeling or whatever), but we are free to choose which one we go to, but he created a special person (who was kinda him) to be killed as a means to save us, but we don't really need saving because we can freely choose and god can not interfere with our choice as it is not his nature, but god made us imperfect which made it impossible for us to get into heaven without him allowing it because of the acts of two people (who must have actually been primitive life forms if you accept evolution), but we retained our freewill even if we didn't want to be imperfect, but god has a plan and we can not change the plan, but we have freewill just not the kind that could change god's plan, but the only way we can actually get into heaven (why we would care one way or the other, I am still unsure) is to believe in him, but he gives us no good reason to do so because he doesn't want to take away our freewill to go to this hell place if that is what we choose to do. Wow.  

Okay, question. How can I use my freewill to make a choice of whether or not I believe in him when he doesn't give me sufficient reason to believe in him? It actually violates our ability to make a freewilled choice when he does not confirm his existence to mankind beyond any doubt, it would not at all violate our freewill to choose if he did this. I can know that a chair is a chair and that it exists and this does not violate my freewill to choose to believe in it or not. How can I freely choose heaven or hell when I don't believe either one exists? How come he created me and wants me to have freewill but doesn't provide me with the information I require to make free choice? 


 


“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Quote: This seems like

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This seems like what pantheists do. If God simply is the universe--all of reality, from which all laws are derived, etc--then God is simply the universe. We already have a word for that, so why call it God?

Here's the problem: I never said God was the being of the universe, or reality itself. God is existence, but not the existence of things. He is existence subsisting, not the existence that participates in this. God is not the existence of the universe, He is the source of the existence of the universe.

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But then you say that God is beyond created reality as well, making you sound like a panentheist (this further supports my argument, argued elsewhere, that the distinction between pantheists and panentheists is the same as atheists and theists in most respects). So, do the laws, absolutes, and universals come from reality or from the transcendent? You say things taht seem to imply that it could be either/both, but this seems to be a confused ontology.


God is beyond created reality as its source. So, laws and absolutes in created reality flow from Him as their source.

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Further, can you name something i the universe that is not what it is? "I am who I am" is simply A=A. So if this is God (being), well, we already have a word for that.

This indicates a twofold distinction in what God is. We cannot know Him as He is in Himself, but we can do two things: we can say what He is not (He is not created reality), and that His being is analogously similar to our own as the source of our being. His lack of distinction between what He is and how He is is something of a negative description of His nature, indicating that it lacks any division whatsoever. He is His own existence. According to the way of analogy, we can say that God is like our being, but as its cause. He is not the being of things, such as A=A.

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God is reality makes god a non-entity. He no longer need be an intelligence, he simply is. And if he is constrained by reality then he is constrained. There is a nature that constrains god, whether or not it is his nature is unimportant. If he is constrained then that which is greater can be. That which created god's nature can be.

He has a nature, but it is identical with His existence and is beyond our comprehension. We can only say things about Him in relation to us as our cause. What He is in Himself is beyond us. Again, He is not reality itself, but the cause of reality. This is what we mean when we say that His essence is His existence. He is, in other words, a being whose nature is to exist.

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Yes, my point is that, being as that it is something we can not even conceptualize or describe in any relevant manner, we have no capability to think it possible or even to be able to consider whether or not it is possible. It is a non-concept.

It is not a non-concept. We cannot know the meaning of the term in itself, but we use the term in a negative way to apply to that which is the cause of all things, as their source. God is not known by us as He is in Himself (this is the Beatific Vision - heaven), but only in view of being a cause. We know that He is, but not what He is. Again, though, this does not eliminate all knowledge, as I said above.

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He is a being that exists differently than we do in such a way that he is indistinguishable, from any practical perspective, from the universe itself.

Precisely wrong. God is not the universe, He is the cause of the existence of the universe and the source of existing things. He is not the same as the existence of things in the universe.

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You have made the case that god does not grant us access to heaven or condemn us to hell, but that we freely choose one or the other. So, it is obviously unimportant what I do in life so long as I choose heaven.

Ah, but there is the issue. The choosing of heaven is something more than merely willing it alone. The choosing of heaven entails a rectitude of will, whereby our actions are brought into conformity with our end - we act to attain heaven. Also, God's grace is not to be underestimated here. We cannot attain the supernatural end of heaven unless God gives it. He likewise allows your will, through "actual" grace, to know the decision in the first place and to make it. His grace is essential, because the choice for heaven cannot exist or be made without His grace. It does not override free will, but acts in tandem with it.
Also, original sin makes such attainment basically impossible of our nature ability. It damaged our ability to do the good and to know it. Our weakness in the fact of sin is the result and it would be impossible to overcome this on our own. Even in the Church and with grace, people find it hard to overcome this tendency, which is why frequent reception of the sacraments is a necessary factor.

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God is existence

Not existence. His existence is His essence; His essence is not the existence of things. In other words, He is a necessarily existing being.
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and yet you believe he is intelligent,

His intelligence is His substance, as is His existence. He possesses intelligence in a superior way to ourselves, and it is one with His will, and His existence, and His essence. God is supremely simple.

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but he is basically just a being constrained by his nature,

No, is nature is infinite. Things that God cannot do cannot be done not because His nature constrains Him but because the action or thing done is not possible.

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but has got some awesome power, but he can not change that nature nor can he contradict logic,

Because He is. Again, He can do all things, but things that are not things cannot be done.

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but there is life after death in either heaven or hell (being as that purgatory is now closed for remodeling or whatever),

Purgatory is a sort-of anteroom to heaven where souls are purged of the vestiges of sin before entering heaven.

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but we are free to choose which one we go to,

In accordance with grace, and so forth.

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but he created a special person (who was kinda him)

Not kinda Him. Him. Fully God and fully man. He was God.

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to be killed as a means to save us, but we don't really need saving because we can freely choose and god can not interfere with our choice as it is not his nature,

The sacrifice of Christ had to do with making satisfaction for sin, not for making us choose one over another (except by way of persuasion). Also, as I said, we cannot choose heaven both because of weakness in our nature's ability to do good and because God must give us the ability to make and know the choice in the first place (as heaven is essentially a supernatural good that is beyond our nature's power to attain).

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but god made us imperfect

Original sin made us imperfect, not God.

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which made it impossible for us to get into heaven without him allowing it

Not just allowing it, but giving us real help to overcome original sin and actual sin (which is its result).

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because of the acts of two people (who must have actually been primitive life forms if you accept evolution),

No, Adam and Eve were true human beings.

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but we retained our freewill even if we didn't want to be imperfect,

We retained free will, but not perfect control over our bodies and our ability to do good has been damaged.

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but god has a plan and we can not change the plan, but we have freewill just not the kind that could change god's plan,

God's plan "assumes" our free decisions, because He sees it as if you already made the decision. It is no less free as a result of that, though.

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but the only way we can actually get into heaven (why we would care one way or the other, I am still unsure) is to believe in him, but he gives us no good reason to do so because he doesn't want to take away our freewill to go to this hell place if that is what we choose to do.

Belief in what He has revealed is the only way to get into heaven, because the choice of heaven and what that entails is basically the matter of revelation itself. Also, the means of grace established in Revelation is the means by which we attain heaven.

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Okay, question. How can I use my freewill to make a choice of whether or not I believe in him when he doesn't give me sufficient reason to believe in him?

God gives you plenty reason to believe in His existence, from your reason. He also gives you the knowledge to do the good, from your conscience. Both of which are aids. However, belief in His existence is not the way to heaven. He gave us a mind to know He exists and to know the good and do it. But the attainment of heaven is beyond our nature; even the giving of the choice is really something we could not know without God's revelation. We can know naturally that we are made to attain heaven and that God would need to give us the grace to attain it, but we don't know naturally "whether" God has given us that information. This is the substance of Revelation. So, God reveals this answer to us so that we can attain heaven. So, belief in what He has revealed is essential to attain this.

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It actually violates our ability to make a freewilled choice when he does not confirm his existence to mankind beyond any doubt, it would not at all violate our freewill to choose if he did this.

God is not self-evident to us as He is in Himself - that is heaven when He does reveal Himself in this way. He reveals Himself to us in our minds and through the things He created. However, this does not "violate" free will, as wherever you go when you die is decided by the actual free actions you made, not absolutely speaking what you could have done. God judges not on appearences, but on reality. He knows what was within your free choice and what wasn't. So, for those Indians to whom God had never revealed Himself supernaturally before Christ, He judges them of course on a different scale. However, God gives all men the knowledge naturally to know the good, and it is this on which those are judged.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.