Free Will

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Daniel12
Posts: 881
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Free Will

#291 Post by Daniel12 » 1 year ago

Hey Bruno

The lady mentions that Facebook has been asked several times by the authorities to reveal the identity of the posters who post false information on Facebook which is a crime. In other words, why is Facebook NOT WILLING to reveal those who are breaking the law? :?

This is exactly what the Watchtower is doing. They lost another case in California that will cost them millions. The court ordered them to reveal the molesters in their databases. The Watchtower refused and was penalized a default judgement of 4 million dollars. The court still ordered them to reveal the child molesters database in their organization that is comprise of thousands of cases within the organization. The Watchtower has refused and has now appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States to allow them to keep the database of child molester cases in their organization a secret. The date is set for October. If the Watchtower wins, it will be hard to sue them again on child abuse cases since they can deny everything and protect the child pedophile.

So like Facebook, they are more concerned of protecting criminals and perverts than protecting the members who put their trust in them.
From John Redwood...

A preview of upcoming news:

Jehovah's Witnesses are appealing to the Supreme Court of the United States, but this time it has nothing to do with preaching or saluting the flag.

It's all about child abuse.

Specifically, the protection (or cover-up) of information, documents, and testimony of persons involved in cases of child abuse.

I will be covering this story in the coming weeks and months, but I thought I would share some of this news and try to distill it down as simply as I can.

I'd like to point out first that Watchower has appealed to the Supreme Court in connection with their loss of yet another California child abuse case. The chance that Watchtower's appeal being will be heard by the Supreme Court is slim, but anything is possible.

What brought this about?

There are many ongoing civil child abuse cases in California. One such case is J.W. versus Watchtower. J.W. happens to be the initials for the victim of former JW elder Gilbert Simental, who went on a spree of molestation which touched the lives of numerous victims.

As with other cases, the plaintiff demanded that Watchtower turn over to the court a database of child abuse cases known to be maintained by Watchtower of New York.

In this particular case, because Watchtower failed to turn over the documents in a timely manner, attorneys asked for a default judgment of just over 4 million dollars.

The court agreed with the plaintiff and entered a default judgment in that amount. Watchtower was required to post a bond of more than 6 million dollars while their appeal was pending.

Watchtower lost their appeal, and the decision of the court was upheld. This decision is final- with one exception.

Watchtower has decided to appeal to the United States Supreme court on the basis that their judicial hearings related to child abuse matters are "confidential intra-faith communications" and that they do not, and should not, reveal those communications or documents to anyone, including civil courts.

I'd like to make it very clear what Watchtower is doing here. They are fighting for their right NOT to allow civil authorities to dictate what is confidential, and what is not confidential.

All of this is in relation to their claim that elders do not have the right or duty to report child abuse to the authorities.

Watchtower overtly lies to their members by claiming that they obey secular laws, except when they conflict with God's laws.

Yet they break the law every single time by advising elders NOT to report child abuse to the authorities.

It does NOT matter whether child abuse occurs in a mandatory reporting state- elders STILL do not report to the police because Watchtower has told them that ALL of their communications are protected by clergy-penitent privilege.

This is false- and it is exactly why they are losing tens of millions of dollars in child abuse civil cases. Watchtower advises elders to break the law.

And now they want the Supreme Court of the United States to agree with them.

The claim that the state of California has unfairly targeted Jehovah's Witnesses and "intruded upon matters of church governance."

Why???

How does compliance with mandatory child abuse reporting laws conflict with God's laws? It doesn't. This is a fabrication of Watchtower attorneys working for the Governing Body, and it's become quite clear that they feel that compliance with these civil laws will spell disaster for their religion.

And they might be right.

If Jehovah's Witnesses did the right thing and complied with the law, they would lose the tight grip of control over their elder bodies in ways which frighten the hell out of them.

There is a whole lot more to this story as well as the underlying cases involved, but I wanted to let you know what's going on.

Attorneys for J.W. (the abuse victim) will be filing an opposition to Watchtower's appeal in August, and we should have a decision from the Supreme Court by October on whether they will accept Jehovah's Witnesses appeal for review.

User avatar
Bruno
Posts: 2309
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Free Will

#292 Post by Bruno » 1 year ago

Daniel12 wrote:
1 year ago
Hey Bruno

The lady mentions that Facebook has been asked several times by the authorities to reveal the identity of the posters who post false information on Facebook which is a crime. In other words, why is Facebook NOT WILLING to reveal those who are breaking the law? :?

This is exactly what the Watchtower is doing. They lost another case in California that will cost them millions. The court ordered them to reveal the molesters in their databases. The Watchtower refused and was penalized a default judgement of 4 million dollars. The court still ordered them to reveal the child molesters database in their organization that is comprise of thousands of cases within the organization. The Watchtower has refused and has now appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States to allow them to keep the database of child molester cases in their organization a secret. The date is set for October. If the Watchtower wins, it will be hard to sue them again on child abuse cases since they can deny everything and protect the child pedophile.

So like Facebook, they are more concerned of protecting criminals and perverts than protecting the members who put their trust in them.

Hi Daniel,

When it comes to hiding information and failing to protect its members they have a lot in common with Facebook. They also don't like showing up to answer questions :)

https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/201 ... n-business
Karl

User avatar
Bruno
Posts: 2309
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Free Will

#293 Post by Bruno » 1 year ago

Bruno wrote:
1 year ago
Here is a little argument I feel is reasonably well supported by scripture. It isn’t air tight or even water tight, but I’ll settle for Love tight :)

1. If God is all knowing and all loving, God knows how to save and so will save all people
2. God is all knowing and all loving
3. Therefore, God knows how to and will save all people

As far as I can see the first premise hinges on our “will” to either submit to God or not and God choosing to use his foreknowledge or not.

James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

God’s very nature and his knowledge of the future may also affect his will. Both may inform his decision making in order to bring about what is maximally good for the maximum number of people,

Isaiah 46:10 who announces the end from the beginning and reveals beforehand what has not yet occurred, who says, 'My plan will be realized, I will accomplish what I desire,' I summon a bird of prey from the east, a man for My purpose from a far-off land. Truly I have spoken, truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, I will surely do it.…

Isaiah 48:3
I foretold the former things long ago; they came out of My mouth; I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.

Isaiah 41:4
Who has performed this and carried it out, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD--the first and the last--I am He."


We know our will is not free from powers both internal and external influencing it. Job1:7 ; 1 Peter 5:8

Psalm 58:3
The wicked are estranged from the womb; the liars go astray from birth.

Ephesians 2:3
At one time we all lived among them, fulfilling the cravings of our flesh and indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath.

Psalm 51:5-6 Surely I was brought forth in iniquity; I was sinful when my mother conceived me. 6Surely You desire truth in the inmost being; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.…

God knows all the variables which affect the way in which we make our choices. We are the clay and he is the potter.

Romans 9:20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"

Isaiah 29:16
You have turned things upside down, as if the potter were regarded as clay. Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pottery say of the potter, "He has no understanding"?

Proverbs 19:21
Many plans are in a man's heart, but the purpose of the LORD will prevail.

Proverbs 20:24
A man's steps are from the LORD, so how can anyone understand his own way?

Psalm 37:23
The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way.

Jeremiah 10:23
I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not his own; no one who walks directs his own steps.


God surely desires to help guide our decision making in order to maximize the number of people who will choose wisely and submit to him.

1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.

Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

Deuteronomy 30:19-20
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against youthat I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Romans 2:4 Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God's kindness leads you to repentance?

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God has knowledge of all future events. So He knows all the potential choices we are going to make and all the events which will play a role in influencing why we make those decisions.

Often in order to explain why the universe is so finely tuned to support life physicists postulate a multi universe hypothesis. They claim there may be an infinite number of universes with infinite possible settings. Ours just happens to be the lucky one with all the right settings for life to be possible. One alternative is God knew the precise settings required to produce a universe which can sustain life and so choose to set them correctly.

So God may have used his knowledge of all possible future events in order to select and permit a precise series of events to occur. A series of events which may ultimately result in the maximal number of people that eventually choose to submit to him. God’s permission of what seems to be maximal evil may have been the best route, of all the many available routes, to ultimately save the maximum number of people. Unfortunately the worst may still be to come.
Also God’s nature may have compelled him to select this particular world and its events, as the ends would justify the means, especially if any other version of this world would have resulted in less people choosing submission to God.

I’m going to borrow from Apollos again here :)
Can't we make a variation on the Ontological argument for the existence of God here? St Anselm's idea that "a being than which nothing greater can be conceived" must exist in reality otherwise the concept would be self-contradictory may be a flawed piece of philosophy, but if we've already established the foundation for God's existence then we do still have to answer the question as to what sort of God He is. And if he's truly Almighty so that no greater being could be conceived, then isn't it possible to use this as a kind of litmus test of the hypothetical point under discussion. Would the greatest of all conceivable beings save ALL or just SOME?

Yes, there is the conditional factor of every knee bending to the Lord (thanks for awesome post @phoebe) so free-will is involved, but if we picture humanity in 6000 years from now, will they know a God who desired to save all but only saved some, or is it possible that this incredibly difficult conundrum of evil and suffering can be explained in hindsight by a high price being paid in order to obtain the highest possible return in universal salvation? And how would we perceive God in hindsight if this highest possible outcome had NOT been obtained despite the highest price having been paid?
viewtopic.php?p=36163#p36163
I found a video which lends some support to the idea that God may be able to select, out of all possible worlds, a world which would have all the right conditions and events leading to the maximum number of people making the decision to worship him.




It's based upon the concept of middle knowledge

https://www.gotquestions.org/middle-knowledge.html
Karl

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Bruno
Posts: 2309
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Re: Free Will

#294 Post by Bruno » 1 year ago

Bruno wrote:
1 year ago


God knows all the variables which affect the way in which we make our choices. We are the clay and he is the potter.


God has knowledge of all future events. So He knows all the potential choices we are going to make and all the events which will play a role in influencing why we make those decisions.
God know how to catch a fish. The Bishop shares his views on free will, 1 Timothy 2:4

https://youtu.be/_Hli1fo1p2s?t=1020
Karl

User avatar
Bruno
Posts: 2309
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Free Will

#295 Post by Bruno » 1 year ago

Vox Ratio wrote:
2 years ago

If it helps at all, you could always eschew an argument from possibility/necessity and take a probabilistic position like this guy ;)

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2864&hilit=enlighte ... 180#p34919

It's amazing what a bulldog can do with a full set of teeth :D

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/24/spor ... index.html
Karl

Vox Ratio
Posts: 235
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Free Will

#296 Post by Vox Ratio » 1 year ago

Hi Bruno,
Bruno wrote:
1 year ago
It's amazing what a bulldog can do with a full set of teeth :D
Indeed! After watching the results of that match I almost began to think that Craig Keener should pen another chapter in his already voluminous work Miracles!

simplyme
Posts: 151
Joined: 4 years ago

Re: Free Will

#297 Post by simplyme » 1 year ago

For the most part people want to do the right thing. They want what is good for themselves and they want what is good for everyone else. We want loving and healthy relationships and loving and healthy families. This is the foundation of a healthy society.

If we all want this so badly you would think this would come easy but it doesn’t. In fact good relationships are very difficult. We have to work hard to have just a decent relationship with someone. Relationships are so fragile.

Why is this? It doesn’t make any sense.

This may be the answer......

Go back to the beginning in the Biblical narrative of Adam and Eve. It really doesn’t matter if you believe the story or not. The answer is still there.

Was “sin” just disobedience or was it something more?

According to the story one of the first actions they took after “sinning” was to hide themselves because they were naked. This tells us that before “sin” the fact that they were naked was meaningless to them. The account even says they were naked and unashamed. How can you not know you are naked or that it didn’t bother them? They weren’t self conscious or self aware.

In the simplest of terms to have “sin” in us is to be self conscious. Let us unpack this a little more.

The word sin means to “miss the mark”. Traditionally we have been taught this is to disobey one of God’s commandments. Look at it from a different vantage point.
As we mature from childhood on we become more and more self conscious. We become aware of what’s going on inside of us and WHO WE ARE. We become much more aware of our frailties and weaknesses than our strengths. Why do we focus on these rather than the strengths and beautiful qualities in ourselves and others? We become more and more aware of how we “miss the mark” inside us as an individual. This causes us to become increasingly insecure with who we are as a unique person. We don’t want people to see these failings so we hide parts of us just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden. Metaphorically we don’t want people to see us naked. God asked them “WHO told you, you were naked?”

Even tho they didn’t answer, the answer was their self conscious told them which they didn’t have earlier. So the “sin” that was now in them was that they were now self conscious.

As a person becomes increasingly self conscious, they become more insecure. People may see who we really are! They will see our faults and think less of us or even somehow use them against us. As they mature an EGO is systematically created to protect and feed the insecurities in the person. This EGO produces over time a virtual reality that is a false narrative in ways to their true reality. We begin to live in a reality that hides our weaknesses from ourselves and others....or so we think. It produces a protective shield around the persons frailties which creates all these insecurities. The EGO hides their weaknesses so they don’t have to deal with them or even see them. It creates a virtual world which is a mixture of truths and lies. A world which we believe to be truth but it has false realities mixed in. The stronger the EGO the more the truth is taken over by lies. Being self conscious or aware can be used to be extremely beneficial with ourselves and others but the EGO is completely selfish and negative. Even if unintentionally someone exposes one of our weaknesses the EGO will immediately protect that person and even attack the person who is doing this. This is where relationships are hurt and even destroyed. What happens is a battle of EGOs in relationships. Two completely selfish entities battling one another. In a false narrative of self preservation and protection our EGOS are attacking each other. Our EGOS go into the protective mode and offensive mode to protect our self conscious self. The irony is our EGOS in trying to protect us are destroying what we need most. Loving healthy relationships.

Our EGO, to protect the self, will find people similar to our way of thinking or feeling and we surround ourselves with these ones. This makes us feel secure. The EGO never wants to be even somewhat wrong in our ideologies. The thought that we could be even a little wrong makes us feel insecure. To be really wrong is devastating. This is a false premise made up by our EGO to protect the self. The reality is to “miss the mark” or make mistakes and be wrong at times is part of learning and growth as a human. This is the process of learning how to do anything better or understanding the world we live in better. You can’t learn how to do things right without knowing what won’t work or what is wrong. This is how relationships grow and mature and become stronger. We need to see where we can improve with each other.

Our self conscious is constantly judging us in a negative and insecure way. Our EGO is constantly judging those around us in a negative way to put a positive spin on our own self conscious self and dare I say it, to make us feel a tiny more superior to the others.

What we can do is to take the power away from our own EGO. To use the self conscious in a positive way. First with ourselves and then with others. The only way to combat this in relationships is to LIVE the fruitages of the Spirit, especially love. If we know someone sees all our weaknesses and loves us AS IS with no changes, it diffuses the insecurities of our self conscious and our EGO becomes smaller and smaller.

What if we focused on our strengths and our beautiful traits instead and these became the focal point of WHO WE ARE. The EGO would die off. It would cease to have a reason to exist.

What if we did the same with our family and friends and all people and they did the same.

What if partaking of the tree of knowledge was meant to happen when humans were mature enough to do so? When they could use this knowledge of being self aware or self conscious in a positive and constructive loving way.

Now consider some of the words Jesus said:

“Whoever will humble himself like this young child is the one that is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens”
“The greatest among you must be your minister. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”
“Let him that is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the one acting as chief as the one ministering”
“Blessed are the gentile since they will inherit the earth”

Phoebe
Posts: 950
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Free Will

#298 Post by Phoebe » 1 year ago

Hi Simplyme,

Wow.

Darned spot on.

I wish I had something more intelligent or thoughtful to say in response to your post, but a vigorous head nodding will have to do 🙂

A great read, which I’m going to add to a little note list in my digital journal, so I can easily return to read and chew over.

Thanks 👍
Phoebe.

Orchid61
Posts: 566
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: Free Will

#299 Post by Orchid61 » 1 year ago

Good afternoon Simplemy,

👍👍👍

From me too, excellent done!

Regards,
Maria

Hisclarkness
Posts: 457
Joined: 6 years ago

Re: Free Will

#300 Post by Hisclarkness » 1 year ago

simplyme wrote:
1 year ago
For the most part people want to do the right thing. They want what is good for themselves and they want what is good for everyone else. We want loving and healthy relationships and loving and healthy families. This is the foundation of a healthy society.

If we all want this so badly you would think this would come easy but it doesn’t. In fact good relationships are very difficult. We have to work hard to have just a decent relationship with someone. Relationships are so fragile.

Why is this? It doesn’t make any sense.

This may be the answer......

Go back to the beginning in the Biblical narrative of Adam and Eve. It really doesn’t matter if you believe the story or not. The answer is still there.

Was “sin” just disobedience or was it something more?

According to the story one of the first actions they took after “sinning” was to hide themselves because they were naked. This tells us that before “sin” the fact that they were naked was meaningless to them. The account even says they were naked and unashamed. How can you not know you are naked or that it didn’t bother them? They weren’t self conscious or self aware.

In the simplest of terms to have “sin” in us is to be self conscious. Let us unpack this a little more.

The word sin means to “miss the mark”. Traditionally we have been taught this is to disobey one of God’s commandments. Look at it from a different vantage point.
As we mature from childhood on we become more and more self conscious. We become aware of what’s going on inside of us and WHO WE ARE. We become much more aware of our frailties and weaknesses than our strengths. Why do we focus on these rather than the strengths and beautiful qualities in ourselves and others? We become more and more aware of how we “miss the mark” inside us as an individual. This causes us to become increasingly insecure with who we are as a unique person. We don’t want people to see these failings so we hide parts of us just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden. Metaphorically we don’t want people to see us naked. God asked them “WHO told you, you were naked?”

Even tho they didn’t answer, the answer was their self conscious told them which they didn’t have earlier. So the “sin” that was now in them was that they were now self conscious.

As a person becomes increasingly self conscious, they become more insecure. People may see who we really are! They will see our faults and think less of us or even somehow use them against us. As they mature an EGO is systematically created to protect and feed the insecurities in the person. This EGO produces over time a virtual reality that is a false narrative in ways to their true reality. We begin to live in a reality that hides our weaknesses from ourselves and others....or so we think. It produces a protective shield around the persons frailties which creates all these insecurities. The EGO hides their weaknesses so they don’t have to deal with them or even see them. It creates a virtual world which is a mixture of truths and lies. A world which we believe to be truth but it has false realities mixed in. The stronger the EGO the more the truth is taken over by lies. Being self conscious or aware can be used to be extremely beneficial with ourselves and others but the EGO is completely selfish and negative. Even if unintentionally someone exposes one of our weaknesses the EGO will immediately protect that person and even attack the person who is doing this. This is where relationships are hurt and even destroyed. What happens is a battle of EGOs in relationships. Two completely selfish entities battling one another. In a false narrative of self preservation and protection our EGOS are attacking each other. Our EGOS go into the protective mode and offensive mode to protect our self conscious self. The irony is our EGOS in trying to protect us are destroying what we need most. Loving healthy relationships.

Our EGO, to protect the self, will find people similar to our way of thinking or feeling and we surround ourselves with these ones. This makes us feel secure. The EGO never wants to be even somewhat wrong in our ideologies. The thought that we could be even a little wrong makes us feel insecure. To be really wrong is devastating. This is a false premise made up by our EGO to protect the self. The reality is to “miss the mark” or make mistakes and be wrong at times is part of learning and growth as a human. This is the process of learning how to do anything better or understanding the world we live in better. You can’t learn how to do things right without knowing what won’t work or what is wrong. This is how relationships grow and mature and become stronger. We need to see where we can improve with each other.

Our self conscious is constantly judging us in a negative and insecure way. Our EGO is constantly judging those around us in a negative way to put a positive spin on our own self conscious self and dare I say it, to make us feel a tiny more superior to the others.

What we can do is to take the power away from our own EGO. To use the self conscious in a positive way. First with ourselves and then with others. The only way to combat this in relationships is to LIVE the fruitages of the Spirit, especially love. If we know someone sees all our weaknesses and loves us AS IS with no changes, it diffuses the insecurities of our self conscious and our EGO becomes smaller and smaller.

What if we focused on our strengths and our beautiful traits instead and these became the focal point of WHO WE ARE. The EGO would die off. It would cease to have a reason to exist.

What if we did the same with our family and friends and all people and they did the same.

What if partaking of the tree of knowledge was meant to happen when humans were mature enough to do so? When they could use this knowledge of being self aware or self conscious in a positive and constructive loving way.

Now consider some of the words Jesus said:

“Whoever will humble himself like this young child is the one that is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens”
“The greatest among you must be your minister. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted”
“Let him that is the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the one acting as chief as the one ministering”
“Blessed are the gentile since they will inherit the earth”

This is very nice, simplyme! I think you are heading in the right direction. I’ll be curious to see how or if you reconcile this new thinking with the ransom doctrine

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