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God might not exist

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  • God might not exist

    I have spent most of my life considering the various arguments for and against the existence of God. I'd like to present and try to defend one argument against the existence of God. I would like to receive feedback both pro and con, and from agnostics, atheists, theists, Christians, and people of other worldviews. I'm only interested in a civil discussion or debate, and I hope the moderators of this website will encourage and defend the principle of civility without censorship of different opinions.

    So, here is the argument:

    1. If God did exist, then he would not endow men with the free will to rape women and consequently no men would rape women.
    2. But some men do rape women.
    3. Therefore, God does not exist.

    The conclusion of an argument is true if 1) all premises of the argument are true, and 2) the argument has a valid logical form. In the present case, the argument I presented has a valid logical form. The form is 1. If G, then not C. 2. C. 3. Therefore, not G. This is a common and logical form of argument. Premise #2 of the rape argument is obviously true, based on overwhelming evidence. The only real consideration is whether premise #1 is true. Is it? What do you think?

  • #2
    Gary, God created man with free will because he created man in his own image. Otherwise we could be like robots or just dogs and cats. We will no longer be special. But it was never God's will for man to do this. I don't know much but I know he has something amazing in his mind. A plan which is completed at the cross and is going to affect the whole mankind. May God unveil what we need to and guard our minds and hearts in Christ Jesus, our Lord.Amen
    Comment>

    • #3
      Motirattan, thank you for your thoughtful and civil reply.

      In your response you claim that God created man in his own image. I think that claim is presumptuous, probably false, and so vague as to be almost useless, and I'll try to explain why. If God did exist and created us in his own image, then not only would we have the free will to rape, but we would also never rape. If God did exist, his image would include being perfectly moral and if we were made in his image, then we would be perfectly moral and never rape.

      If God did exist and did not endow men with the free will to rape women (as alluded to in the argument), then men would not be "like robots or just dogs and cats," as you imply. Men would be just as they are now with one exception -- they would not have the free will to rape women and thus would never rape women.

      If God did exist, then he would be perfectly moral and would not make the moral mistake of endowing men with the free will to rape women. By such an endowment, however, he would be enabling the immoral act of rape.

      I don't think you have found any error in the original argument, so it still stands. But please feel free to keep trying to find an error. I want honest feedback on the argument from as many people as possible.
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
        1. If God did exist, then he would not endow men with the free will to rape women and consequently no men would rape women.
        Hello Gary,

        If you are merely meaning one has a choice then yes man is faced with a choice. However, I reject the notion that man has an autonomous or libertarian "free" will. Man since the fall had his "image" tainted and distorted. Man's sin nature binds him to sin, either man is capable of not sinning thus true free will or the natural unregenerate man is a slave to sin. I reject Pelagianism which suggests that man is perfectly capable of his own volition - righteousness. The statement in your premise is then turned on its head, if mankind is truly free why can't mankind "NOT" sin, or in your example not rape women? Granted, not all men are as depraved as can be, but all mankind exhibits depravity throughout all faculties. Jesus stated that though a man may not act upon a sinful thought, that that thought is as bad as the action: Matthew 5:28

        So I must disagree with your premise and say that it is false. If you mean to base your premise on the popular thinking of today's Pelagian or Arminian church then yes your argument poses a problem for them. But man given a choice is no more capable of flapping his arms to reach the heavens like a bird. The choice is yours, but man is grounded in his human nature, just as man is grounded in his sin nature and cannot achieve righteousness on his own accord. You'll never achieve your end goal on your own despite having choice.

        “To be autonomous means to be a law unto oneself. An autonomous creature would be
        answerable to no one. He would have no governor, least of all a sovereign governor. It is
        logically impossible to have a sovereign God existing at the same time as an autonomous
        creature. The two concepts are utterly incompatible. To think of their coexistence would be
        like imagining the meeting of an immovable object and an irresistible force. What would
        happen? If the object moved, then it could no longer be considered immovable. If it failed
        to move, then the irresistible force would no longer be irresistible. - R.C. Sproul”

        I think what you are going to find is that many people try to defend God rather than rely on what the Scriptures state. "The choice" really goes back to the Garden of Eden when many claim that Adam and Eve were of neutral disposition. One thing is for sure, they did not have a righteous disposition otherwise when they were confronted by an external influence they would have rejected sin. But through one man all have sinned (original sin). And that brings me back to the point that man is not free but either a slave to sin or to God.

        In Genesis 3:5 two lies were offered to Eve: first, that she would be like gods, and thus independent, able to rule over herself apart from God, and secondly, there is not one God, but many gods; each is sovereign over himself or herself. This is an autonomous/libertarian will that is as old as the age old hiss from out of the Garden.

        So you see, for me to acknowledge your premise is to verify the lie of Satan as being truthful. An autonomous/libertarian free will comes from the very same spirit by which Lucifer led his botched coup attempt. The question then becomes a matter of why mankind incapable of breaking his bondage of the will from a sinful disposition.

        Lastly, your premise tries to shift the accountability/responsibility of man's sin onto the shoulders of God. Evil does not originate from God but from the fallen creature.

        . . . the Lord had declared that "everything that he had made . . . was exceedingly good" [Genesis 1:31]. Whence, then comes this wickedness to man, that he should fall away from his God? Lest we should think it comes from creation, God had put His stamp of approval on what had come forth from himself. By his own evil intention, then, man corrupted the pure nature he had received from the Lord; and by his fall drew all his posterity with him into destruction. Accordingly, we should contemplate the evident cause of condemnation in the corrupt nature of humanity-which is closer to us-rather than seek a hidden and utterly incomprehensible cause in God's predestination. - John Calvin [Institutes, 3:23:8]
        The Doctrine of Autonomous Self: A Hidden Idolatry -Christforums

        God bless,
        William
        Comment>

        • #5
          William, thank you so much for your thoughtful and civil response. Your reply is very long and I don’t think I have the space or time to fully respond, so I’m going to pick out the bits which seem most relevant to the argument.

          WM: If you are merely meaning one has a choice then yes man is faced with a choice. However, I reject the notion that man has an autonomous or libertarian "free" will.

          GW: I don’t know if man has autonomous or libertarian free will, but for the argument I am assuming that he does because that is what most people, including Christians, think.

          WM: Man since the fall had his "image" tainted and distorted. Man's sin nature binds him to sin, either man is capable of not sinning thus true free will or the natural unregenerate man is a slave to sin.

          GW: If man does not have libertarian free will but instead has a “sin nature,” then that nature would have been endowed to him by any all-powerful creator which existed. A new argument could be devised with that different assumption, but it would lead to the same conclusion. Do you agree that the argument works if libertarian free will is assumed?

          WM: ...if mankind is truly free why can't mankind "NOT" sin, or in your example not rape women? Granted, not all men are as depraved as can be, but all mankind exhibits depravity throughout all faculties.

          GW: All men can decide to rape women or not rape women, but some choose to rape women and others choose not to. The argument doesn’t say anything in general about depravity or immoral behaviors other than raping women, and it doesn’t need to, since one good example is sufficient. If an all-powerful creator endowed men with the free will to rape women, then this endowment by itself would be an immoral act.

          WM: So I must disagree with your premise and say that it is false.

          GW: Thanks for disagreeing, but I don’t think you have rationally demonstrated that the first premise is false.

          WM: The choice is yours, but man is grounded in his human nature, just as man is grounded in his sin nature and cannot achieve righteousness on his own accord. You'll never achieve your end goal on your own despite having choice.

          GW: An even stronger argument could be made by substituting a creator’s endowment of a “sinful nature” along with a proneness to rape women in place of the endowment of the free will to rape women.

          WM: I think what you are going to find is that many people try to defend God rather than rely on what the Scriptures state.

          GW: In many places the scriptures state or imply that God is perfectly moral, but this is contradicted by reason since any all-powerful creator who endowed men with the free will to rape women would have made a moral error.

          WM: "The choice" really goes back to the Garden of Eden when many claim that Adam and Eve were of neutral disposition.

          GW: I disagree. If an all-powerful creator did exist, the choice really goes back to his endowment of men with the free will to rape women. The argument focuses on a single endowment and a single immoral behavior of some men. I don’t see how consideration of other immoral behaviors is relevant. By analogy, if it is claimed that all swans are white, then the presentation of one nonwhite swan will do. If it is claimed that there is an all-powerful perfectly moral creator, then the presentation of a single immoral act by the creator will do.

          WM: So you see, for me to acknowledge your premise is to verify the lie of Satan as being truthful.

          GW: Satan is hypothetical and really isn’t relevant to the argument. If God existed and decided to endow men with the free will to rape women (or the proneness to do so), then Satan, if he existed, could not stop God from doing so. Satan could not stop an all-powerful being.

          WM: Lastly, your premise tries to shift the accountability/responsibility of man's sin onto the shoulders of God. Evil does not originate from God but from the fallen creature.

          GW: No, the premise does not imply a shift of responsibility, but an addition of responsibility. A man who freely wills himself to rape a woman is certainly responsible for the act. Nobody would deny this, except for maybe the rapist himself. However, any all-powerful creator who endows the man with the free will to rape women is *partly* responsible for the act also. The addition stems from the concept of *enabling.*

          GW: In conclusion, I don’t think you have found a critical error in the argument.
          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
            GW: If man does not have libertarian free will but instead has a “sin nature,” then that nature would have been endowed to him by any all-powerful creator which existed. A new argument could be devised with that different assumption, but it would lead to the same conclusion. Do you agree that the argument works if libertarian free will is assumed?
            No because autonomous or libertarian will does not exists. And you're ruling out Satan as a hypothetical:

            Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
            GW: Satan is hypothetical and really isn’t relevant to the argument. If God existed and decided to endow men with the free will to rape women (or the proneness to do so), then Satan, if he existed, could not stop God from doing so. Satan could not stop an all-powerful being.
            Likewise, your free will argument is purely hypothetical. You must prove that man has a free will, but instead you only point to the bondage of will towards sin. Satan was the external influence that lead Adam and Eve to sin, a creature that is pefectly made in accomplishing his purpose by God's design, a master craftsman, if you will. Are you not so sure or eager to blame Satan as you are to blame God and hold him accountable for man's sin?

            The Premise I'd like to introduce is:
            1. If God exists then free will does not exists.
            2. If God doesn't exists then free will exists.

            Another words in an application:
            1. If God is Sovereign and He chooses to save a man then that man is saved. But if God chooses a man and that man chooses to reject salvation then man is Sovereign and God is not.

            I believe that this was established by my previous post.

            Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
            GW: I don’t know if man has autonomous or libertarian free will, but for the argument I am assuming that he does because that is what most people, including Christians, think.
            And this is the reason in my opinion for your failure to understand the fault of your premise. You're tossing a word around (free will) which isn't supported by Scripture, but merely making the fallacy which is derived by popular opinion (so it must be true). The only free will mentioned in the Bible is in "the free will offering" which means without compulsion by law.

            I can say that most of the church today is either Pelagian or Arminian, and I submit my premise to them as well as you as a correction. As is now, your premise fails from the Calvinist perspective, but it introduces a major problem to the rest of Christiandom.

            Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
            GW: In many places the scriptures state or imply that God is perfectly moral, but this is contradicted by reason since any all-powerful creator who endowed men with the free will to rape women would have made a moral error.
            I also will suggest that God does not allow immorality to go unpunished, but it seemingly becomes your argument that because God is slow to anger and patient that in the end men will have gotten away with immoral acts? What you're failing to recognize is that man commits rape because he is a slave to sin by nature. The natural man cannot do any good in the presence of God. To go back on your premise which states that man has a free will that emphasizes the ability to do bad things, which I am establishing that man can only do bad things when contrasted or held to God's Holy Standard. Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-11. No man is good, though this does not mean that man is as bad as he can be. But a man that has transgressed the least of the law is held accountable for transgressing all the laws. And if man is left unchecked apart from God's grace he is quite unlimited towards his immoral/evil inclinations.

            For your premise to be true, you must establish that man has a free will, but thus far you are only relying on popular opinion rather than Scriptural truth. A hypothetical is not reality.

            Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
            GW: No, the premise does not imply a shift of responsibility, but an addition of responsibility. A man who freely wills himself to rape a woman is certainly responsible for the act. Nobody would deny this, except for maybe the rapist himself. However, any all-powerful creator who endows the man with the free will to rape women is *partly* responsible for the act also. The addition stems from the concept of *enabling.*
            It is quite obvious that man's will is far from being free. Unless you're going to argue that man can achieve of his own volition the righteousness and Holiness of God?

            To a degree you're beginning to touch upon double predestination (or at least I am paralleling your argument). God chose the Elect from before the foundation of the world, while others He passed over. God regenerates the natural man breaking his bondage to sin, but if He passes over some is He accountable for the reprobate?

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
              I'm only interested in a civil discussion or debate, and I hope the moderators of this website will encourage and defend the principle of civility without censorship of different opinions.
              Gary,

              I just want to let you know that I am aware of your status on other Christian forums. However, for the record, I think you're rejecting a distortion of God by a false gospel rather than by true Scriptural teaching. If you're going to oppose something, it's my hope that at least you oppose something honestly. What you're opposing at this moment I find myself also opposed.

              I encourage you to brush up on the Pelagian controversy. Most of what is being covered here is classical in the way of pivotal debates in church history. "Pelagianism," to put it as simply as I know, starts with the denial of the doctrine of original sin. It's a denial that Adam's sin in any way affects his progeny. So that all of us are born essentially blank slates, and we have the choice. And again, this all hinges on human choice; we have the choice to be good or evil. And we're evil by our own choice, not because of any sinful tendencies or guilt that we inherited from Adam. That's where Pelagianism starts. And out of that, you get a totally graceless theology. Because ultimately, if it's my choice, whether it be good or evil, then I can save myself. I can redeem myself, simply by choosing to be good.

              It's also my sincere hope that your time here is fruitful. I acknowledge your civil approach, and pray that it does not waver. Please pray with me.

              Lord, take out of my flesh the heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. Cause me to walk in your statutes. Put love for yourself into my heart. Open the eyes of my heart to see the glory of the gospel. Grant repentance to me and free me from the devil. Make me alive together with Christ. Save me by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit. - Amen

              God bless,
              William
              Comment>

              • #8
                William, Happy Thanksgiving to you! I am thankful for your thoughtful and civil comments. Many Christians are unable or unwilling to discuss in that manner.

                GW: Do you agree that the argument works if libertarian free will is assumed?

                WM1: No because autonomous or libertarian will does not exists.

                GW1: But that seems to be an answer to a question different from the one I asked. Ok, you believe libertarian free will does not exist. But if it does exist despite your belief, then the argument works. Correct?

                GW1: Does another form of free will exist that is not libertarian? When a man rapes a woman he chooses to perform the act, so there is “willing” going on. But in your opinion how is the will free, constrained, or limited, and by whom or what?

                GW: Satan is hypothetical and really isn't relevant to the argument. If God existed and decided to endow men with the free will to rape women (or the proneness to do so), then Satan, if he existed, could not stop God from doing so. Satan could not stop an all-powerful being.

                WM1: Likewise, your free will argument is purely hypothetical. You must prove that man has a free will, but instead you only point to the bondage of will towards sin.

                GW1: My argument is provisional. It is a full argument which is logically valid. The second premise is absolutely true. I believe the first premise is true, but that is what we are debating now. But if the first premise is also true, then the conclusion is true. You are correct that the first premise has an embedded assumption, i.e. that men who rape women have the free will to rape them. This particular argument is designed to appeal to those who already believe that God exists and believe that men who rape women have the free will to rape them, which happens to be most people in the world, although these “most people” might not include you. If you agree that the argument works if free will exists, then we can move on to some different argument that might appeal to you.

                WM1: Satan was the external influence that lead Adam and Eve to sin, a creature that is pefectly made in accomplishing his purpose by God's design, a master craftsman, if you will. Are you not so sure or eager to blame Satan as you are to blame God and hold him accountable for man's sin?

                GW1: The argument works with or without Satan. If Satan exists and behaves in ways most people think who believe in him, then yes, he would be partly responsible for every rape of a woman which any man commits. So now, we are up to three responsible persons – the raping man, the all-powerful creator, and Satan. However, if God doesn’t exist, then Satan probably doesn’t exist either. It has been claimed that God created Satan, and so “no God, no Satan.”

                WM1: The Premise I'd like to introduce is: If God exists then free will does not exists. If God doesn't exists then free will exists.

                GW1: Those are two claims which most people, including most Christians, do not believe. The argument which I presented is not meant for people who agree with your two claims. But I’ll keep an open mind.

                WM1: Another words in an application: If God is Sovereign and He chooses to save a man then that man is saved. But if God chooses a man and that man chooses to reject salvation then man is Sovereign and God is not.

                GW1: This is confusing to me. If God did exist and a man “chooses” to reject an offer of salvation from God, would he be choosing by free will? If not, then in what ways might his will not be free?

                GW: I don't know if man has autonomous or libertarian free will, but for the argument I am assuming that he does because that is what most people, including Christians, think.

                WM1: And this is the reason in my opinion for your failure to understand the fault of your premise. You're tossing a word around (free will) which isn't supported by Scripture, but merely making the fallacy which is derived by popular opinion (so it must be true). The only free will mentioned in the Bible is in "the free will offering" which means without compulsion by law.

                GW1: Well, most people, including Christians, believe that free will exists. Also, all true beliefs are not supported in scripture, and a belief is not necessarily a fallacy if it is not mentioned in scripture. Note: “Atoms exist” or “The Big Bang occurred roughly 13.7 billion years ago.” Both are true and not mentioned in scripture.

                WM1: As is now, your premise fails from the Calvinist perspective, but it introduces a major problem to the rest of Christiandom.

                GW1: After five minutes of googling, I discovered that there are roughly 7.5 billion people in the world, 32.5% of them are Christian, and only about 70 million are Calvinists. This means that the argument is a major problem for about 2,367,500,000 Christians.

                GW: In many places the scriptures state or imply that God is perfectly moral, but this is contradicted by reason since any all-powerful creator who endowed men with the free will to rape women would have made a moral error.

                WM1: I also will suggest that God does not allow immorality to go unpunished, but it seemingly becomes your argument that because God is slow to anger and patient that in the end men will have gotten away with immoral acts?

                GW1: No, the argument doesn’t become that. It says nothing about punishment. Even if an all-powerful creator perfectly punished every man for every rape he committed, it would still be a moral error for that creator to have endowed men with the free will to rape women.

                WM1: What you're failing to recognize is that man commits rape because he is a slave to sin by nature.

                GW1: I think your claim here is false, but even if it were true I think it would lead inexorably to the same conclusion: 1. If God did exist, he would not cause some men to be slaves to rape and no men would rape women. 2. But some men do rape women. 3. Therefore, God does not exist.

                WM1: The natural man cannot do any good in the presence of God.

                GW1: He can’t? If God exists and a man saves a drowning child, this would be doing good in the presence of God.

                WM1: To go back on your premise which states that man has a free will that emphasizes the ability to do bad things, which I am establishing that man can only do bad things when contrasted or held to God's Holy Standard. Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-11. No man is good, though this does not mean that man is as bad as he can be. But a man that has transgressed the least of the law is held accountable for transgressing all the laws. And if man is left unchecked apart from God's grace he is quite unlimited towards his immoral/evil inclinations.

                GW1: The argument does not say that any man is good. It says that some men rape women. However, if God existed, he would neither make men so that they “can only do bad things” nor hold men accountable for breaking the least of the law as if they had broke all the laws. Both those acts would be immoral, and if God existed, he would do neither since he would be perfectly moral.

                WM1: For your premise to be true, you must establish that man has a free will, but thus far you are only relying on popular opinion rather than Scriptural truth. A hypothetical is not reality.

                GW1: The first premise may be true even if I fail to establish that it is true. Besides, it only requires that men have the free will to rape women, not that men have free will in general. But even if men don’t have the free will to rape women, a slightly different argument can be constructed which rules out the existence of God anyway.

                GW: No, the premise does not imply a shift of responsibility, but an addition of responsibility. A man who freely wills himself to rape a woman is certainly responsible for the act. Nobody would deny this, except for maybe the rapist himself. However, any all-powerful creator who endows the man with the free will to rape women is *partly* responsible for the act also. The addition stems from the concept of *enabling.*

                WM1: It is quite obvious that man's will is far from being free. Unless you're going to argue that man can achieve of his own volition the righteousness and Holiness of God?

                GW1: The argument does not mention and has nothing to do with achieving “the righteousness and Holiness of God.” It focuses on the behavior of men raping women. When a man rapes a woman, is his behavior completely determined or is it wholly or partly “free” of influences? If it is wholly or partly free of influences, doesn’t he have the free will to rape women? If all influences were “pushing” him towards rape, could he not choose to do otherwise?

                WM1: To a degree you're beginning to touch upon double predestination (or at least I am paralleling your argument). God chose the Elect from before the foundation of the world, while others He passed over. God regenerates the natural man breaking his bondage to sin, but if He passes over some is He accountable for the reprobate?

                GW1: If God did exist, he would not predestine any man to rape a woman. Such an act by any god would be an immoral act, and if God did exist, he would be perfectly moral. And so, an all-powerful perfectly moral person, i.e. God, does not exist.

                GW1: I don’t think you’ve found a critical error in the argument yet. The argument should be convincing to the 2,367,500,000 Christians who probably believe that every man has the free will to rape a woman or not. That goes a long way.

                Comment>

                • #9
                  Discussion had gotten long and I won't be able to read all.lol
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Gary,

                    Happy Thanksgiving. Lets reread what you stated.

                    Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
                    If God did exist, then he would not endow men with the free will to rape women and consequently no men would rape women.
                    And this is what I wrote:

                    Originally posted by William View Post
                    The Premise I'd like to introduce is:
                    1. If God exists then free will does not exists.
                    2. If God doesn't exists then free will exists.

                    Another words in an application:
                    1. If God is Sovereign and He chooses to save a man then that man is saved. But if God chooses a man and that man chooses to reject salvation then man is Sovereign and God is not.
                    I am content with the above. I stopped after "endow men with the free will" in my bold outline. For the sake of sanity, raping women, boys, animals and even having consent between adults in adultery or fornication are sinful all the same. Consequently, no one born of God continues committing any of the aforementioned sin.

                    If you are content in also leaving it as so then we agree. Where do we go from here?

                    We can either acknowledge God who does exists and refute the free will that doesn't exists, or we can redefine God according to man's free will making Him into an impotent god...

                    God bless,
                    William

                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      WM: If you are content in also leaving it as so then we agree. Where do we go from here?

                      GW: No, I'm not content in leaving it as so. Where do we go from here? First, I think you need to explain what is going on when some men choose to rape women, if they don't have free will as you claim. Secondly, I think you need to explain why it would not be a moral error for any all-powerful creator to enable some men to rape women, if they don't have free will as you claim.

                      WM: We can either acknowledge God who does exists and refute the free will that doesn't exists, or we can redefine God according to man's free will making Him into an impotent god...

                      GW: We don't need to redefine "God." There is a stable and common definition: God is the hypothetical unique, eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly moral creator of the universe. My concern is that this god may not exist, and this is the god believed to exist by a majority of the people of the world.

                      GW: I'm not sure how you will address the two questions I posed above, but I'll move forward and offer this alternative and slightly different argument anyway, which does not reference free will:
                      1. If God did exist, he would not endow men with the capacity to rape women and consequently there would be no men who rape women.
                      2. But some men do rape women.
                      3. Therefore, God does not exist.
                      Once again, the argument is logically valid and premise #2 is obviously true, so discussion comes down to premise #1 This argument avoids the issue of free will and should appeal to you.
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        Gary I am content leaving this by what was already stated. I think you need to scroll up and reread up till this point, because what you're asking from me is circular.

                        I will leave on this note: I do not believe in the capacity of man to autonomously choose contrary to a sin nature, nor do I believe in an impotent god as most of Christendom. At least there is a major contradiction from professing Christians. You express a concern which is warranted, because the god you're actually opposed to does not exists. This is what I meant by suggesting earlier that what you're opposed I am also opposed - an idol.

                        As to your last three points, I can only suggest that God does exists, and man left to himself will rape women, boys, commit bestiality and adultery or fornicate etc. All man needs do is not choose, but succumb to his sinful nature. Case an point, you only can acknowledge your guilt in committing at least one of those sins. Some men left to themselves go so far as to rape women, others boys, and still others bestiality etc. God has not regenerated them by intervening in the life of the reprobate. He has passed them over. Thus your question, why does God actively intervene in the lives of those He foreknew, and passes over others? Why does God harden some like Pharaoh in the case of the reprobate? Your premise begs to question, if God exists, why does He not regenerate all men making them slaves to Himself? But instead, man left to himself is not free, far from it but a slave to sin under the headship of Adam. Man is either a slave to sin or a slave to God. But instead, you're suggesting that because there are temporarily reprobate God does not exists.

                        Lastly, if there is no God, technically, the rapist's mother gave birth and should share the responsibility for her creation. That is, if you want to be consistent, after all, she is a sovereign being capable of enacting her will over creation.

                        If you're going to reject God, please do so honestly. Otherwise, you're just rejecting a god of your own imagination.

                        God bless,
                        William
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          WM: As to your last three points, I can only suggest that God does exists, and man left to himself will rape women, boys, commit bestiality, adultery, fornication etc. All man needs do is not choose, but succumb to his sinful nature.

                          GW: I am disappointed that you did not directly and fully address those last points. Every man who rapes a woman does make a choice before he rapes a woman. In making this choice he either has free will or he doesn’t. You claim that he does not have free will but simply succumbs to a sinful nature. But your explanation does not get around this alternative argument:
                          1. If God did exist, he would not endow some men with a sinful nature such that they would rape women, and consequently there would not be any men who rape women.
                          2. But there are some men who rape women.
                          3. Therefore, God does not exist.

                          WM: He lacks the desire for God apart from God's grace. Some men left to themselves rape women, God has not regenerated them by intervening in the life of the reprobate. He has passed them over. Thus your question, why does God actively intervene in the lives of those He foreknew, and passes over others? Why does God harden some like Pharoah? Your premise then becomes if God exists, why does He not regenerate all men making them slaves to Himself?

                          GW: No, that’s not my argument at all. If God did exist, he would not endow men with a sinful nature which would cause them to rape women. God would not cause a propensity in some men which would lead them to harm women via rape and then offer a fix. That would be a moral error, and this contradicts the assumed perfect morality of God. This is not about regeneration; this is about morally-based prevention.

                          WM: Lastly, if there is no God, technically, the rapist mother gave birth and should share the responsibility for her creation? That is, if you want to be consistent, a sovereign being capable of enacting her will over her creation.

                          GW: Rapist mother? The mother is not a rapist. However, she would be partly responsible if her son raped a woman only if she raised her son poorly during the time in which she had great influence over him. For example, if she taught him to disrespect females, then she would be partly culpable too if he raped a woman. There is no inconsistency in my position. Responsibility for any immoral act is shared among the different agents contributing to the performance of the immoral act, and responsibility is proportional to contribution. For example, Osama Bin Laden was partly responsible for the 9-11 tragedy even though he wasn’t even present. If an all-powerful creator endowed some men with a sinful nature causing them to rape women, then the creator would also be partly responsible for every rape. If God existed, he would not do this.
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
                            GW: No, I'm not content in leaving it as so.... . You claim that he does not have free will but simply succumbs to a sinful nature.
                            Of course not Gary.

                            Those who believe man has a free will should be called "inconsistent". Our choices are our choices because they are voluntary, not coerced. We do not make choices contrary to our desires or natures, nor separately from God's meticulous providence. Voluntary means the ability to choose what we want or desire most according to our disposition and inclinations. Libertarianism is known as contrary choice, the latter free agency (the fallen will is never free from the bondage of our corrupt nature, and and not free, in any sense, from God's eternal decree).

                            Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
                            GW: I am disappointed that you did not directly and fully address those last points. Every man who rapes a woman does make a choice before he rapes a woman. In making this choice he either has free will or he doesn’t. You claim that he does not have free will but simply succumbs to a sinful nature. But your explanation does not get around this alternative argument:
                            1. If God did exist, he would not endow some men with a sinful nature such that they would rape women, and consequently there would not be any men who rape women.
                            2. But there are some men who rape women.
                            3. Therefore, God does not exist.
                            Look Gary, remember the death of Jesus? The Biblical text says, "...both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place Acts 4:27-28. Take that in Gary, The Father did this to His beloved Son. So if I have come to terms with this, how do you think I am going to come to terms with the case of rape in your example?

                            The man's choice to rape is completely voluntary even though God has ordained that it would come to pass. If God had no control over evil, either entering the universe (i.e. if it was against his will but occurred anyway), or by your rapist then it would appear He is not all-powerful and that there is some other entity in the universe which may even be more powerful than He. Such is what we must conclude from the position you seem to be toying with. My advice is to come up with exegetical grounds for your position, rather than base your theology on someone elses misconception. Truth must be derived from looking at the whole counsel of Scripture, not just the most popular opinion that we like.

                            I affirm that man is indeed responsible for the choices he makes, yet I deny that the Bible teaches that man has a free will since it is no where taught in the pages of Scripture. The Bible teaches, rather, that God ordains all things that come to pass Eph 1:11 and it also teaches that man is culpable for his choices Ezek 18:20, Matt 12:37, John 9:41. Since the Scripture is my ultimate authority and highest presupposition, the multitude of clear scriptural declarations on this matter outweigh all unaided human logic.

                            Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
                            Responsibility for any immoral act is shared among the different agents contributing to the performance of the immoral act, and responsibility is proportional to contribution... . If an all-powerful creator endowed some men with a sinful nature causing them to rape women, then the creator would also be partly responsible for every rape.
                            Not some men but all men born in Adam left to themselves are Totally Depraved. Again, you're seemingly reluctant to pick up on the subtle cue I am trying to convey, when I list all sexual immorality as bearing the same consequence. Without God's intervention in the life of the reprobate all men perish for their sins, and under whose headship the god of this world (Satan) will be cast into the fiery pit.

                            Originally posted by Gary Whittenberger View Post
                            For example, Osama Bin Laden was partly responsible for the 9-11 tragedy even though he wasn’t even present. If an all-powerful creator endowed some men with a sinful nature causing them to rape women, then the creator would also be partly responsible for every rape. If God existed, he would not do this.
                            Listen, when disaster strikes, we should wonder why it did not happen to us. When the tower of Siloam fell on some people, Jesus said, "Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." Luke 13:4,5 In other words, disaster should strike into our hearts the precarious position of mankind as a whole before God and His judgment, specifically it should make us consider that but for the grace of God, that would be me.
                            • God "works all things after the counsel of his will" Ephesians 1:11.
                            • This "all things" includes the fall of sparrows Matthew 10:29,
                            • the rolling of dice Proverbs 16:33,
                            • the slaughter of his people Psalm 44:11,
                            • the decisions of kings Proverbs 21:1,
                            • the failing of sight Exodus 4:11,
                            • the sickness of children 2 Samuel 12:15,
                            • the loss and gain of money 1 Samuel 2:7,
                            • the suffering of saints 1 Peter 4:19,
                            • the completion of travel plans James 4:15,
                            • the persecution of Christians Hebrews 12:4-7,
                            • the repentance of souls 2 Timothy 2:25,
                            • the gift of faith Philippians 1:29,
                            • the pursuit of holiness Philippians 3:12-13,
                            • the growth of believers Hebrews 6:3,
                            • the giving of life and the taking in death 1 Samuel 2:6,
                            • and the crucifixion of his Son Acts 4:27-28.

                            From the smallest thing to the greatest thing, good and evil, happy and sad, pagan and Christian, pain and pleasure - God governs them all for his wise and just and good purposes Isaiah 46:10. Lest we miss the point, the Bible speaks most clearly to this in the most painful situations.
                            • Amos asks, in time of disaster, "Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?" Amos 3:6.
                            • After losing all ten of his children in the collapse of his son's house, Job says, "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD" Job 1:21.
                            • After being covered with boils he says, "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" Job 2:10.

                            Honesty Gary, if you are going to reject God then at least reject the God of Scripture and not some god made up from popular opinion.

                            God bless,
                            William
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              William, I continue to be thankful to you for participating in this controversial discussion by being thoughtful and civil.

                              WM: I affirm that man is indeed responsible for the choices he makes, yet I deny that the Bible teaches that man has a free will since it is no where taught in the pages of Scripture.

                              GW: In our discussion we have moved beyond free will. I presented a new argument which does not assume that men have the free will to rape women, and so far you have not found a critical error in it.

                              WM: The Bible teaches, rather, that God ordains all things that come to pass Eph 1:11 and it also teaches that man is culpable for his choices Ezek 18:20, Matt 12:37, John 9:41. Since the Scripture is my ultimate authority and highest presupposition, the multitude of clear scriptural declarations on this matter outweigh all unaided human logic.

                              GW: The Bible could be mistaken on this point. If God did exist, then he would not ordain at least one thing – that some men would rape women. That would be a moral error. And so an all-powerful perfectly moral creator, i.e. God, does not exist.

                              WM: Not some men but all men born in Adam left to themselves are Totally Depraved. Again, you're seemingly reluctant to pick up on the subtle cue I am trying to convey, when I list all sexual immorality as bearing the same consequence. Without God's intervention in the life of the reprobate all men perish for their sins, and under whose headship the god of this world (Satan) will be cast into the fiery pit.

                              GW: You seem to imply that some men rape women because all men are totally depraved. Of course, that does not explain why some men do not rape, even some without any belief in a god. Also, it really doesn’t point to any error in the alternative argument I presented to you. If God did exist, he would not cause men to be totally depraved such that some would rape women. That would be a moral error. Also, if God did exist, he wouldn’t cast unrepentant sinners into a fiery pit. That would be another moral error. If God did exist, his glory would be manifest in moral perfection, so he wouldn’t make the moral errors which you have described.

                              WM: In other words, disaster [like the fall of the tower of Siloam] should strike into our hearts the precarious position of mankind as a whole before God and His judgment, specifically it should make us consider that but for the grace of God, that would be me.

                              GW: First, the alternative argument doesn’t address tragic accidents in general or the fall of the tower of Siloam in particular. It addresses one specific type of behavior – the intentional rape of women by men. Please address the behavior identified in the argument. Secondly, if an all-powerful creator ordains some men to rape women and then uses this as some warning to all human persons, this would still be a moral error. He could make the warning by some other less harmful means. Thirdly, if God did exist, he wouldn’t judge a species; this would be another moral error. He would judge individual human persons. Again, if God did exist, his glory would be manifest in moral perfection; he would make no moral errors.

                              WM: From the smallest thing to the greatest thing, good and evil, happy and sad, pagan and Christian, pain and pleasure - God governs them all for his wise and just and good purposes Isaiah 46:10.

                              GW: For what “wise and just and good purposes” would God endow men with the capacity to rape women or ordain some men to rape women? And could he achieve those purposes without endowing or ordaining them in that way, doing less or no harm at all?

                              WM: Honesty Gary, if you are going to reject God then at least reject the God of Scripture and not some god made up from popular opinion.

                              GW: The second argument pertains to the hypothetical God as you view him from your interpretation of the scriptures, and so far, I don’t think you have found an error in it. I hope you keep trying and I hope that some other people will join this discussion.

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