How Sovereign is God?

Discussions on a ranges of philosophical issues including the nature of truth and reality, personal identity, mind-body theories, epistemology, justification of beliefs, argumentation and logic, philosophy of religion, free will and determinism, etc.
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Seraph
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Re: How Sovereign is God?

#16

Post by Seraph » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:53 am

I suppose it does come down to that, whether the will is deterministic or not. I have a hard time concieving of a way in which it isn't though. Neurology seems to have the brain pretty fairly mapped out in terms of what physical brain functions take place to process information and make decisions. The will being indeterministic seems to rely on there being an unaccounted for part of the mind that is not subject to the physical, nor to the laws of cause and effect. But isn't relying on there being an accounted for part of the brain/mind a sort of "brain of the gaps" model?
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Re: How Sovereign is God?

#17

Post by Jac3510 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:31 pm

*shrug*

That would jsut be a denial of free will.

I think it's clear--and the logic of your post rightly proves it--that at a fundamental level free will, if it exists, means that there is a part of us that is not governed by the laws of physics. Frankly, if we are willing to sacrifice free will, then imputing evil to God is the least of my theological concerns (not that I would actually have any theological concerns, anyway, since everything I think I am thinking is really nothing more than the chemicals in my brain acting in the way that they were predetermined to act!).

;)
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: How Sovereign is God?

#18

Post by Vansdad » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:35 pm

Proverbs 16:9King James Version (KJV)
9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

So God still has a say in the matter

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Re: How Sovereign is God?

#19

Post by stuartcr » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:20 am

Seraph wrote:How much control does God have over the events of the universe? Does He have absolute control over the way reality "plays out" or are there events in reality that He did not intend to happen, such as humanity becoming hopelessly corrupt prior to the great flood, or Satan becoming an evil being?

If He is absolutely sovereign, exercising full control over how the universe "plays out", wouldn't this imply that God is (ultimately) the author of all things that we see, both good and evil? If God did not intend for evil, why didn't He create the best of all possible universes, instead of one where suffering and things that drive people from God are rampant? Or are those things really necessary qualities of the best of all possible universes? If God has control over the factors that make people act in certain ways, are they really evil or just the way things are?

These questions seem to have implications of how sensible it is for God to judge someone. Not that God doesn't have the moral right to judge, but it seems nonsensical if God has total control, because nothing could truly defy His will. It would be like willingly designing something to not work properly, and then getting angry with it for failing to work. It's similar to the arguments surrounding predestination, what's the point of judging someone if there was no chance for them to do otherwise?
According to the Lord's Prayer, His will is done.

I believe He is the author of all things, both good and evil. I do not believe that what we see as good or evil, is anything more than a trait He gave us humans so we could have laws and form societies. I do not believe good or evil is really anything to Him, sort of like how we view an animals instinctive behavior. That is why it appears that there are contradictions.

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Re: How Sovereign is God?

#20

Post by neo-x » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:12 am

Jac3510 wrote:*shrug*

That would jsut be a denial of free will.

I think it's clear--and the logic of your post rightly proves it--that at a fundamental level free will, if it exists, means that there is a part of us that is not governed by the laws of physics. Frankly, if we are willing to sacrifice free will, then imputing evil to God is the least of my theological concerns (not that I would actually have any theological concerns, anyway, since everything I think I am thinking is really nothing more than the chemicals in my brain acting in the way that they were predetermined to act!).

;)
Actually it would be in chemistry and physics. ;) I think some points on both arguments are true. Brain mapping is proving a lot in actions and impulses based in chemicals, while we have things like logic proving otherwise. A good question to me is then how free is free when we say we are free to do it. For instance if you do a knee jerker test on me, you are free to do it and I am free to react to it but my reaction is not willed, yet I am free to make it. So how do we define free. I think a good deal lies in the answer to this.
since everything I think I am thinking is really nothing more than the chemicals in my brain acting in the way that they were predetermined to act
I don't think it necessarily concludes to predetermined acts.
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Re: How Sovereign is God?

#21

Post by stuartcr » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:11 pm

Seraph wrote:How much control does God have over the events of the universe? Does He have absolute control over the way reality "plays out" or are there events in reality that He did not intend to happen, such as humanity becoming hopelessly corrupt prior to the great flood, or Satan becoming an evil being?

If He is absolutely sovereign, exercising full control over how the universe "plays out", wouldn't this imply that God is (ultimately) the author of all things that we see, both good and evil? If God did not intend for evil, why didn't He create the best of all possible universes, instead of one where suffering and things that drive people from God are rampant? Or are those things really necessary qualities of the best of all possible universes? If God has control over the factors that make people act in certain ways, are they really evil or just the way things are?

These questions seem to have implications of how sensible it is for God to judge someone. Not that God doesn't have the moral right to judge, but it seems nonsensical if God has total control, because nothing could truly defy His will. It would be like willingly designing something to not work properly, and then getting angry with it for failing to work. It's similar to the arguments surrounding predestination, what's the point of judging someone if there was no chance for them to do otherwise?
The recent suicide of Robin Williams made me wonder about this;
If God knew the details of his death, would it have been possible for him to have NOT committed suicide?

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