Thursday, July 30, 2015

One more problem with the Cheungian view of direct agency

The heretic Vincent Cheung denies the ontological reality of second causes, while, as it must noted, he does not deny their epistemic reality. Cheung as a Hyper-Calvinist makes God the Author of Sin, and he is proud of it. But this kind of direct agency and strong Occasionalism would result in an interesting problem: How does Cheung deal with the death of Christ?

The death of Christ is ordained by God, but in the traditional Calvinistic understanding the Pharisees and Romans freely put him to death, without compulsion from God to do such a wicked act (cf. Acts 2:23). But if one takes Cheung's position, one must assert that God directly cause the Pharisees and the Romans to put him to death. In other words, since God the Son is God, what we have here is divine sadomasochism, or, since they are two different people, divine child abuse. Of course, such conclusions are absurd, but one must take these positions if one believes in only direct causation. And no, I do not admit the blank assertion that God is not "X" because by definition He is not "X." I am done arguing with extreme Nominalists, who think that defining their way out of actual problems in their theories makes valid arguments.

8 comments:

Gregory S. Gill said...

What does it mean to deny "the ontological reality of second causes" but not their "epistemic reality"?

The question is what do you mean by "Cheung as a Hyper-Calvinist makes God the Author of Sin" and what Cheung means by God being "The author of sin"? What you mean and what Cheung means are two completely different things so you are using a straw man argument by caricaturing Cheung.

Concerning your argument on the death of Christ been ordained by God to refute what Cheung says, how does John 10:17-18 (KJV) "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" factor into your argument? Was not Jesus directly involve in laying down His life? If not then explain it in light of John 10:17-18. If Jesus directly laid down His life then base on your type of argument what does that make Jesus out to be? The sword of your argument here cuts both ways.

If God foreordained everything that comes to pass including all your thoughts, actions, etc. and He makes sure all that He foreordained (which is everything that comes to pass) do come to pass then how can it be logically said "the Pharisees and Romans freely put him to death"? Were all of their opinions, thoughts, desires, words, actions, etc. that were involve (directly and indirectly) in they putting Christ to death were all foreordained by God and thus had to come to pass by God's sovereignty? If so then logically where is the freewill?

I agree that God does not compel us to do anything and that is because He give us the thoughts, desires, etc. of both good and evil to do all that we do and we gladly to them of our own choice all of which which He foreordained as well and thus have to come to pass. So therefore we are not compel by God to do anything. If freely doing something is narrowed down to meaning to not be compel by God to do anything then in that very narrow sense I would agree that we do everything freely. I suspect Cheung might say the same as well. If you mean we have libertarian autonomous freewill apart from God's absolute sovereign control and rule over all of creation then you are very wrong. We in that sense only have creaturely will not freewill.

If your theory on freewill is correct then how does your teaching logically provoke the questions of Rom. 9:14, 19 "What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God?...Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?" Its most logical to assert that if your teachings don't logically provoke the same type of question as Paul's teachings did then you're definitely not preaching what Paul preached because human nature has not changed.

PuritanReformed said...

@Greg,

If you do not understand the difference between ontology and epistemology, may I suggest you read a beginners philosophy textbook?

It is irrelevant that Cheung defines "author" as "cause." Cheung by his strong Occasionalism makes God the direct cause of sin, and that is what the Reformed Orthodox were trying to deny when they denied God as being the "Author of Sin." You are the one perpetuating a straw man since you are not even listening to my argument.

>... how does John 10:17-18 ... factor into your argument

That has nothing to do with the issue of causation. We are talking about causation, not whether Jesus willingly laid down his life.


>If Jesus directly laid down His life then base on your type of argument what does that make Jesus out to be?

Irrelevant. The issue here is whether God the Father directly inflicted harm on Jesus, using the Pharisees and Romans as tools, while He is the personal direct agent torturing His Son. It matters not whether Jesus willingly laid down His life.


>Were all of their opinions, thoughts, desires, words, actions, etc. that were involve (directly and indirectly) in they putting Christ to death were all foreordained by God and thus had to come to pass by God's sovereignty?

So? The issue is not whether God is sovereign. The issue is whether God directly put Jesus to death, or whether they were the ones who did it and God merely superintends it. In both situations, God is sovereign, but in the former God is the author and direct cause of evil.

>If so then logically where is the freewill?

Irrelevant. In both scenarios, Man has no free will. But in the former, Man doesn't even have free agency, which he has in the latter


>I suspect Cheung might say the same as well

No he doesn't. Either you do not understand Cheung, or you are not being honest about Cheung's hard determinism, or you are equivocating on the term "compel." According to Cheung's Occasionalism, everything that ever happens, God must be the one directing it. If God does not move, then nothing happens, period.


>If your theory on freewill is correct then how does your teaching logically provoke the questions of Rom. 9:14, 19

Oh, it does. But just because Cheung's hard determinism provokes the same type of questions does not make his philosophy correct. Manicheanism also provokes the same kind of questions, as do all hard deterministic systems.

Gregory S. Gill said...

>"If you do not understand the difference between ontology and epistemology, may I suggest you read a beginners philosophy textbook?"

I do understand the difference its just that your comment seems meaningless.

As to Cheung and the "Author of Sin" issue you are making Cheung out to say God commits sin, He is guilty of doing wrong. This is where the straw man argument comes in.

>"That has nothing to do with the issue of causation. We are talking about causation, not whether Jesus willingly laid down his life."

Really? Seriously? John 10:17-18 doesn't factor into your argument? Or are you ducking the issue?

Also Isa. 53:10 "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief" base on your argument how is that not divine sadomasochism or divine child abuse? Be it direct or indirect? I hope you begin to see that your sword cuts both ways. You need to throw it away, its not good.

>"The issue is not whether God is sovereign. The issue is whether God directly put Jesus to death, or whether they were the ones who did it and God merely superintends it. In both situations, God is sovereign, but in the former God is the author and direct cause of evil."

If God superintends everything (all of their thoughts, opinions, words, actions, desires, likes and dislikes, etc.) then how can God not be the "author and direct cause of evil"? So where is the free agency in that? And what is the meaning of free agency? How does it differ from freewill?

>"No he doesn't. Either you do not understand Cheung, or you are not being honest about Cheung's hard determinism, or you are equivocating on the term "compel." According to Cheung's Occasionalism, everything that ever happens, God must be the one directing it. If God does not move, then nothing happens, period."

I know that is what Cheung says. And he is correct. Compelling someone to do something is to force them to do something they don't what or desire to do. That's not the case with God and His creatures. He cause them to desire, and love what He will have them to do. So they very happily choose to do such. That's not compulsion in any form.

>"Oh, it does. But just because Cheung's hard determinism provokes the same type of questions does not make his philosophy correct. Manicheanism also provokes the same kind of questions, as do all hard deterministic systems."

Logically how does your 'free agency' provokes the same type of questions?

PuritanReformed said...

@Greg,

>I do understand the difference its just that your comment seems meaningless.

If you cannot understand my comment (as opposed to disagreeing with my comment), then you don't understand the difference. Maybe you have the mentality suggested by Crampton that ontology boils down to epistemology, which may I suggest is an extremely stupid suggestion.


>you are making Cheung out to say God commits sin, He is guilty of doing wrong. This is where the straw man argument comes in.

Do you even understand Cheung? Cheung says that God is the direct metaphysical cause of sin. That is not a straw man when I am just repeating what he himself says. "DIRECT"! "METAPHYSICAL"! "CAUSE"! So God directs the tools (humans etc.) that commits sin, like an artist uses a paintbrush to do what he wants.


>John 10:17-18 doesn't factor into your argument?

It doesn't. Stop trying to confuse the issue.


>"Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief" base on your argument how is that not divine sadomasochism or divine child abuse? Be it direct or indirect?

"It pleased the LORD to bruise him"? How? Through the free agencies of the Pharisees and the Romans, not (as you and Cheung say) by God Himself directly using the Pharisees and Romans as tools! That is the difference between orthodox Christianity and Cheungism.


>I hope you begin to see that your sword cuts both ways.

No, it doesn't. You think it does only because you refuse to acknowledge any true sovereignty without direct metaphysical causation.


>If God superintends everything (all of their thoughts, opinions, words, actions, desires, likes and dislikes, etc.) then how can God not be the "author and direct cause of evil"?

That is WHAT I have proved in my essay refuting Cheung on the issue. Please interact with it.


>So where is the free agency in that? And what is the meaning of free agency? How does it differ from freewill?

There is a TONNE of Reformed literature on the topic. If you want to disagree with free agency, argue against it, but it is rather ridiculous for you to ask me for its definition, since you are trying to tell me how wrong I am. Please learn your ABCs first!


>Compelling someone to do something is to force them to do something they don't what or desire to do. That's not the case with God and His creatures. He cause them to desire, and love what He will have them to do. So they very happily choose to do such. That's not compulsion in any form.

Ah, so you are equivocating on the word "compel." Figures.

PuritanReformed said...

So look here, I am tired of talking with Cheungian drones. Show me that you are actually trying to interact as opposed to droning on about Cheung, or the rules will start to take hold.

I have no wish to engage in foolish quarreling.

Gregory S. Gill said...

>"Do you even understand Cheung? Cheung says that God is the direct metaphysical cause of sin. That is not a straw man when I am just repeating what he himself says. "DIRECT"! "METAPHYSICAL"! "CAUSE"! So God directs the tools (humans etc.) that commits sin, like an artist uses a paintbrush to do what he wants."

The question is does God commit sin or does something wrong by being "the direct metaphysical cause of sin"?

>""It pleased the LORD to bruise him"? How? Through the free agencies of the Pharisees and the Romans, not (as you and Cheung say) by God Himself directly using the Pharisees and Romans as tools! That is the difference between orthodox Christianity and Cheungism."

You're still ducking the issue. Since God foreordained and as a result making it come to pass even through free agencies as you say. And it all had to come to pass because God made it come to pass. Base on your argument how does that relieve God from been a divine sadomasochism or divine child abuse? You have not answered the question or dealt with the matter instead you just carried the goal post a step further back.

If I intentionally and indirectly via free agencies cause an evil to happen am I not also wrong to do such? Since you're applying the same standards of man to God how is God also not wrong in intentionally and indirectly via free agencies causing evil to happen?

Logically how does your 'free agency' provokes the same type of questions that Paul's teachings in Rom. 9 provoked?

>"That is WHAT I have proved in my essay refuting Cheung on the issue. Please interact with it."

You have not.

>"Ah, so you are equivocating on the word "compel." Figures."

Compel:

to force or drive, especially to a course of action

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/compel

Force:

to compel by force; overcome the resistance of

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/force?s=t

Gregory S. Gill said...

Also does God superintends one's free agency since God superintends everything? If He don't do it directly then how does He do it indirectly?

PuritanReformed said...

@Greg,

you show absolutely ZERO understanding of what superintendence means. By claiming there is absolutely no difference between God directly causing an action and God superintending an action, you show yourself to be incorrigible.

Unless you can show some basic understanding of the difference between the two, this conversation is over.