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Posts Tagged ‘free will’

Without fully touching on the nature of God one cannot understand the theological term of Predestination. Let me quickly run through what these are.

The Will of God cannot run contrary to His attributes Power and Wisdom, dimension of which is infinite. Thus  where his Wisdom touches an abstract idea of love it cannot be conceived as apart from his will. His love is evident in his creation calendar. First He made all that were needful for man and on the sixth ‘day’ He observed, “…Behold it was very good.(Ge.1:30)” God entrusted the creatures under the care of Adam after he had endowed him with his living breath. He inducted him into service as it were. Naturally we see God trusted in his stewardship when God brought His creation to him and  left choice of their names(Ge.2:19) to him.  God’s trust in his own Power and Wisdom working through him is unmistakeable( When Calvin makes Total Depravity as a central plank in his doctrine he is undermining God’s sovereign Power and Wisdom. Liberality of God in such gifts we can conclude are examples of Love in expression.

Man’s moral choice, whether killing a life form,- be it plants or animals, was not altogether any new element introduced. Adam correctly exercised it when found no helpmeet among animals. It is part of his Gift, wisdom and is entered under the divine Will. What is death to us? Dissolution of physical reality that the body holds for us. Whereas death holds altogether a different significance to Him. It cannot be otherwise, seeing Power and Wisdom are inextricably woven into the Will. Also significant is the testimony of Jesus who speaks of his Father thus. “You do err, not knowing the scriptures…God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Mt.22:29-32)”. I shall cite another example. God gave double of everything Job had lost  (Jb.42:10) He had seven sons and three daughters before Satan afflicted him. In the end when God blessed he was given the same number and not double mind you, of children. His children who were dead to him were already in the presence of God.( Jb.42:13),

Holy Spirit reveals God by the generic term  Elohim in the Creation Account. From John’s account we know God the Son was also present (Jn.1:3-4,1)  God is the Father of lights. Jesus Christ is revealed as the light of men. The spirit in extending God’s attributes make the Will envelop the whole cosmos to give it space. Trust that God extended to Adam connects with Jesus symbol of which is light*. This natural phenomena is not in terms of light having to travel light years but in terms of man’s power and wisdom howsoever is limited. Inspiration of the Holy Spirit is to render a believer overcome his physical limitations. Some Bible scholars have erred in ascribing double predestination,

God’s gifts and calling are without repentance. As Just God his Power and Wisdom he scattered liberally and in sending his Son with a clear mandate (‘whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life’) is in harmony with His nature.  Just as He entrusted Adam with naming the creatures He left judgment to the Son since His Fullness is in the Son. (For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell-Col.1:19-KJV) .Jesus expressed divine Will in no uncertain terms. ’Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.’(Mt.18: 14) He also proved with his life.

Core Will is a term to explain Will of God in  totality.  This is necessary owing to our finite understanding of time. Divine Will commands certain attitudes and conduct from man. It has a finite time frame. Man is judged on this basis. Whatever judgment God determines on these has a Time frame,

In order to demonstrate predestination in working and how we are part of eternal plan of God let me quote two passages one from the Epistle to the Hebrews and the other from the Book of Job.

Speaking of Melchicedec, the King of Salem St Paul states that Abraham gave him a tenth part of all in tithes. He goes on to add, ‘And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law…’

“For he (Levi) was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchicedec met him.(He.7: 10)”.

Now for the other.

When the Lord finally confronted Job out of a whirlwind he asked, ‘…Where was thou when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding (Jb.38: 4)’. Levi was in the loins of Abraham when he paid tithes to the King of Salem. By the same token when God laid the foundation of the earth we were all dead in sins because of Adam, and without a ray of hope. We have been preordained in his Will for punishment. But in obeying the Son and by our faith we have received grace. He blotted out the writing against us and nailed to the cross. (Col.2: 14). This is what St Paul terms as ‘mystery of his Will’ (Ep.1: 9) the key to which is the atoning work of the Son.

As a result we figure as overcomers in Core Will, which ‘he hath purposed in himself’. Thus by the blood of Christ Jesus God shall establish us children of obedience in Core Will.

All that required for such a turn around was our faith, which comes from hearing the Word. “…Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Ro.10: 17)”. This is the kind of faith that death cannot silence.  Cain slew Abel but his blood could catch the ear of God.

God cannot deny himself. His divine Love spreads outwards through his Son and as Jn.3:15-16 makes it clear the call is to even the little ones. Predestination when man interprets it relying on authority,  as lawyers and scribes in the time of Jesus did, is narrowed. Jesus castigated them. The same spirit works still.

Consider this verse. “Notwithstanding they (sons of Eli) hearkened not the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them (1 Sa.2:25) As mentioned in the example of Job we were all under condemnation because of Adam. Also the verse in the gospel of Luke clues us in the condemnation abides with those who reject the counsel of God by rejecting the Son( Lk.7:29-30)

Because of our faith we were justified through his Son unto salvation. In rejecting the Son is tantamount to a state where we are rejecting God the Father . All authority is given to the Son (Jn.5:22,27). God is the Will while the Son is fulfillment. The Spirit in setting down two narratives from the Father and the Son respectively made the sons of Eli foreordained as it were, because they rejected the counsel of their father.

  • The Spirit tags persons with qualities in this case light. Glory of Adam in the presence of God is light. When he chose to step out of God’s Will he felt naked meaning his glory left him. It connects to Jesus in whom was the light of men. Thus the Spirit informs us of Children of light and of darkness.

benny

 

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The unconscious mind (often simply called the unconscious) is all the processes of the mind which are not available to consciousness. The term unconscious mind was coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The concept gained prominence due to the influence of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. The unconscious mind can be seen as the source of dreams and automatic thoughts. (Wikipedia)

Some actions – like moving a finger – are initiated and processed unconsciously at first, and only after enter consciousness.

Philosopher Walter Jackson Freeman III writes “our intentional actions continually flow into the world, changing the world and the relations of our bodies to it. This dynamic system is the self in each of us, it is the agency in charge, not our awareness, which is constantly trying to keep up with what we do.*” To Freeman, the power of intention and action can be independent of awareness. ( * Freeman, Walter J. How Brains Make Up Their Minds. New York: Columbia UP, 2000. Page 139.)

We think and act rationally but do we understand what it implies? One who wants to kick the habit of smoking may linger on wondering when or how to do it. He knows it is slowly incinerating his lungs and one day he quits it altogether. Suppose the coming weekend he is in company and they are headed towards a bar. If he chooses to sit with them in the smoking section he may excuse himself that he did not want to cut their pleasure of a smoke. Or was it he was craving a secondary smoke and his mind had tricked him? Our mind is a divided house. We may say we keep an open house. Only that when we want to empty our bowels we keep the door shut. Open house in short is not always what it says. Our mind is not what we like to believe. We say we are rational. Are we really? How come then we irrationally succumb to prophets and dolts alike. We accept heaven for someone else’s word. Similarly we listen to some fool’s prattle and when he says,’such and such race is subhuman’ we accept it without a murmur. It happened in Nazi Germany. Or a half-baked science fiction writer cobbles up Scientology ‘weird evil cult’ as Rupert Murdoch said the other day) celebrities are ready to join. Our rational mind knows it is a moron’s path to bliss as one who take bath salts for kicks. The nature of mind is such that people are dying to believe and ‘weirder the better.’ There has never been a proof of religion as consistently put to test and found true. Yet why people still harp on it? Our brain is a divided house.
I can make Donald Duck pass for a Deity and have churches built for worship. If so why don’t I do it? The trouble is I may in the end come to believe myself in the joke.‘ I consider that as truly tragic.
PS Philosopher Schopenhauer signified this unconscious part of mind as the Will. We seek pleasures from within ourselves and even if these are less honorable we still pursue it. Then we rationally explain our actions. We are not seeking a course because reasons are already existing outside ourselves.
benny

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What is evolution but adapting things that are already existing? Thus we have some primitive parts from lizards and jellyfish.As a result our brain at its best has to account for what it is built upon.
“Although the things it can do are very wonderful and impressive, its design is very poor engineering in many respects,” says David Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the author of The Accidental Mind.
These parts may have been OK for their original owners, he says, but they aren’t ideal for us.
Take brain cells, for example.
“They are slow. They are inefficient. They leak signals to their neighbors,”

We’re still using a communication system developed 600 million years ago by jellyfish.
Deep Down, We’re Lizards.
Jellyfish don’t have a brain, but they were the first animal to have any sort of nervous system. It’s a loose network of nerves called a “nerve net,” says Chet Sherwood, who studies brain evolution at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Evolution’s tinkering gave lizards the brain they needed to hunt and survive in a tough world, and our brains still have that ancient wiring.
The brain of an adult human is about three times the size of a gorilla brain.
In evolutionary terms big brain gave our human ancestors bigger volume for brain and it is still evolving and at the root of it we still have the reptilian brain.
ii
Brain has two halves like walnut. These are shot through two worlds: conscious and unconscious mind. our conscious self does not initiate all behaviours. Instead, it is somehow alerted to behaviours that the rest of the brain and body are already planning and performing. Also keep in mind conscious experience does play some moderating role. We think rationally and we speak as though we understand what we speak about. But do we?
Take the matter of religion.
Religion relies on mystery and requires certain rituals and symbols to maintain this mystery. People are ready to defend their faith to death. On the other hand what about the fascination with iPad or iPhone for which people are ready to kill themselves? Or do desperate things disproportionate to the intrinsic value of objects themselves, and sell their kidneys as one did in China only last week? People queue through the night, despite the inclement weather to be the first to grab when shops are opened for business. Are we not seeing Progress masquerading religion in this case? Some Nerd who cannot do anything else makes a jargon and creates applications into program and lo and behold, he is looked upon with wonder. He is a modern shaman. Craze for latest gadgets is controlled by which part of our being? Unconscious mind or Rational mind?
Our brain evolved over some 6 millennia as I mentioned earlier is not the best,- and communication system leaks, and we have no idea which part of it is triggering us?
Brain is our thinking part but it depends how we want to interpret external impressions that we see.
In an earlier post I wrote about Cosmic Mind. We make our experience as basis and draw necessary conclusions from these events around us. If we are thinking from our unconscious mind a little and from conscious mind we cannot tell.
When we look into brain we are going down in time,
benny

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Do we have a choice in striking out a path for ourselves?
Look at the manner we have described progress in which man’ deliberate choices connect with similar needs and choices made by others. The nameless inventor of wheel didn’t anticipate flywheel for a watch, gyroscope or wheels, which are as essential in flying. Our choices, deliberate these must be to fit with our needs at a particular point of time and place, would always have to negotiate with those of others. My responsibility is therefore of short duration and how it is adapted in future is beyond me. One example will suffice: our ancestor made flint blades by breaking flint. He could scrape flesh from animal hide and use the leather skins for his clothes. Suppose another used the flint blade to commit murder. Is he responsible that it became a murder weapon in the hand of another?
No, he cannot be held responsible for it.
Moral responsibility for murder must surely lie with the one who used it to commit murder.

let us now look at the kind of “decision,” the evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne talks about. Decision arrived at is merely a series of electrical and chemical impulses between molecules in the brain — molecules whose configuration is predetermined by genes and environment. Though each decision is the outcome of an immensely complicated series of chemical reactions, those reactions are governed by the laws of physics and could not possibly turn out differently. This has only validity where time is of essence and in the face of danger thinking is not an option. The question of fight or flee has been settled eons ago and it is what one may say knee-jerk reaction.
Free Will is where we make conscious choices and coolly and rational mind has determined it.
However progress makes connection of one with the other and it can go on infinite ways. The javelin hurled to fell an animal in hunt connects with arrows sent flying and to the sidewinder missiles that can sense the heat of the target and kill.
Free will is not consigned to molecular behavior of physiology but conscious choices we do to address a problem facing us.
Free will of Adam who on an impulse ate the fruit is an impulse. Those who are by nature impulsive would need an attorney called Restraint in order to move ahead.
ii
Progress is innovations of a few given their widest range.
The Peking man may have settled for a bamboo cut sharp for a weapon as flint tools in the west. How such use ties up around the world gives Progress its value.
Foresight is how man satisfies his need at a specific time and place. Is it not irony that in course of time it shows up its shortcoming? The Bronze Age showed how inadequate Stone Age was. Now a bronze artifact is but a museum piece.
Progress in one direction also creates great many necessities in its wake. It is invisible and is according to cluster principle of which I have explained in previous posts.
To sum: Progress of man on foresight is like having only one paddle doing the job. Funny that hindsight is nowhere in view! Trouble with Progress as a result will have so many gray areas to work upon. Like the Nuclear Age we ushered in without realizing the rogue nations also will get hold of nuclear weapons some day.
Wealth will create more need for wealth and no way Progress can be expected to stop at some point and say,” Enough, we have reached the level of satiety! We are happy!’
Progress coming to think of it must have been Satan’s crowning achievement.

benny

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In my previous posts where I examined the Big Picture I had formulated several principles to underpin my theories. Conjugation principle,Inversion Principle,Uncertainty Principle,Cluster Principle and so on. There is one principle of which I had till now held back. What is Clean Slate principle? In order to explain it let me point out from the night sky.

There are several billions of stars, light of  which when added up must make the sky bright. Yet it does not. Supernovae of star sends materials helter-skelter across space creating new stars in its wake. Background radiation of the Big Bang still reaches us. With such persistence cosmic events leave their signature around. This being the case why we see the night still dark as though the light sent forth from stars is blotted out by an unseen hand? The sky, in a manner of speaking has become a clean slate.

Science explains this  as due to the nature of universe expanding at a rate that starlight shall not make the night seen as day. The nature of Day is as distinct as Night is the exclusion of light is. Day and Night are distinctly apart.  Nature of Truth as distinct from Falsehood is. In  short we have to see in the Objective Lessons of Nature, what makes them valid. Nature as a mirror to Truth. Man makes truth of Nature, truth of Experience, and Truth of Action  to justify himself. Absolute Value of Truth is not what he can demonstrate. Even so it is in context of Truth.

The Clean Slate Principle refers to Absolute certainties against which every finite value has to come up against. Thus we use our free will to explain the nature of evil. Do we not use sophistry to explain that God as Omniscient Being must have known evil beforehand?  If He knows evil He cannot be Good? We weave our own ropes of reason to hang ourselves with.

In the analogy of night sky light supplied by various sources is still rendered as though these were null owing to the expanding sky. Similarly in the run off of march of events supplied by good and evil motives, consciousness of evil on God’s part is negated by power and wisdom of God. He is not the conscience keeper of the evil one. Bad motives come from a different source than good motives that a man keeps and acts upon are in keeping with His commandments. So man who suffers like a wrongdoer for the good that he did out of good conscience is in His keeping.   Clean Slate principle makes God free from any unfairness or *impartiality(cf.post of 8 May 2010) .

The Clean Slate principle states that we create evil, result of our finite nature. According to Cluster principle evil creates much more:  misery is another byproduct. The Clean Slate Principle states that evil resulting from man’s free will remains at finite level. Absolute value of Truth is undimmed by finiteness of truth we demonstrate.

God remains inviolate because of this principle.

God as Truth is not made any whit less because of truth as demonstrated by man.

It is in the nature of God, because God is  Love, to exercise this principle. Though our sins be as scarlet the Clean Principle can render as white as snow, to use a Biblical expression. This principle is in conformity with conjugation principle.

PS. Day is distinct from Night. Light of the Sun makes Day and Night though littered with stars and visible to us, is still Night. In this connection let me point out some men due to some accidents in their biology may be effeminate or genetically feminine. Has God gone wrong? In His eyes they are as distinct as man from woman is. God looks at the soul that is according to the Clean Slate Principle makes man and woman, distinct and clean. To God there is no confusion as we may have.

benny

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