“The concept that we could thwart God's plans is silliness at its best.”
Silliness? I’m confused. I’m constantly hearing that if a given human takes a given action, that’s going against God’s plan for their life and is sinful. And yet, people will take the given action and go against the alleged plan. Not only is the concept not silly, but when people thwart God’s plan, they’re to be tortured for all eternity.
Or do human actions have no effect on the plan? If a human doesn’t follow God’s plan, it doesn’t thwart the plan in any way? If going against the plan has no effect, if we can’t thwart God’s plan, then why does it matter if one follows the plan or not? If the plan can’t be thwarted, that suggests that the script of history is already written, and there goes your “free will defense” designed to excuse God for the evil in the world.
“It's evil for the individual to do it. It's not evil for God to allow it. There are two wills at work here. Get with the program.”
It’s not evil to allow an evil act to occur? That’s a clever excuse. But this is not what I think of when I ponder an all-powerful good and perfect god. How can a perfectly morally good entity fail to act to prevent evil? What would you think of a human who failed to act to stop and evil deed from happening? Would we accept “well, I didn’t do the evil act myself” as an excuse? At a minimum, it makes God awfully passive.
Ok, so now you’re saying that the murder of would-be-Hitler is evil and that this is not a righteous kill. But on the other hand, this act saved the lives of many would-be victims, and you emphasized that there is a “morally sufficient reason to allow that murder”, and so it would not be wrong to allow it. Saving lives and “morally sufficient reason” suggests that the murder is a good thing, not an evil thing. If it’s not morally wrong to allow it, that suggests that the act itself is good, not evil. Had the murder been stopped, many others would have died. So, is the murder a good thing or a bad thing?
And why would God ever use evil acts to bring about good things? Why is evil an essential part of the good God’s plan? This is totally unnecessary and contradicts the notion of a good God. Why use evil humans and their evil deeds to accomplish something good when you have the power to reach the same goal without any evil act at all? All you have to do is glance in the direction of would-be Hitler and…instant heart attack. Instead, you have to sit back and allow evil acts to occur to accomplish the goal of taking out would-be Hitler? Or was there never a plan to take out would-be Hitler, and it was just a lucky break than an evil human happened to kill would-be Hitler? And why didn’t God take out actual Hitler with a heart attack? This is an “all-powerful, perfect, always good, never evil” god?
“Thus David appeals to ridicule again.”
Not ridicule at all. I’m appealing to reality. This is how theology really works. I’m convinced that you lack the cognitive skills to see reality. Ridicule is useful for identifying things that are ridiculous.
The providence of God? Is that the same thing as “wizard”?
No. Not even close, really.
In fact, naturalistic forces and theories share a lot in common with magic.
The only thing a "wizard" and God share in common is that they do supernatural things. The mechanism, the source of the power, the means of accessing it, etc are all totally different.
Further, you're poking fun partly b/c you apparently think the God explanation is ad hoc, and yet the Bible's been around 2000+ years. Nothing ad hoc about a static text like that.
I’m constantly hearing that if a given human takes a given action, that’s going against God’s plan for their life and is sinful.
either they misunderstand the term "God's plan" or they mean God's COMMANDS for their life. In the former they think they can access more of God's secret will than they really can, but the latter is perfectly reasonable. For example, God says "Don't sleep with your boyfriend". If you go ahead and sleep with your boyfriend, you're going against God's plan for your life and you're sinning.
when people thwart God’s plan, they’re to be tortured for all eternity.
ALL people "thwart God's plan" in that they disobey many of His commandments. And we'll all be punished for all eternity if we do not accept His forgiveness for that.
Or do human actions have no effect on the plan?
They do, but God foresaw everything and has taken all human actions into acct. 'Cause He's smart.
then why does it matter if one follows the plan or not?
B/c God told us to, and obeying God is an objective good.
One wonders why you vote (if you do vote); your vote will literally have no effect on the outcome whatsoever. So why do it? Obviously for some other reason than "my vote will change the future", b/c it won't. If you think it will, you're naive. Sorry.
that suggests that the script of history is already written, and there goes your “free will defense” designed to excuse God for the evil in the world.
Bossmanham and I aren't in agreement about this, but I think (hopefully he'll correct me if I'm wrong) that he'd say that God's foreknown plan does not exclude free will choices. It's mysterious, sure, but not logically incoherent any more than my watching a recording of last year's Super Bowl means Drew Brees didn't have a choice to throw X number of times to Marques Colston.
Now, I don't think that libertarian free will exists, apart from the decree of God, and so my answer is a bit different. Which is why I don't defend the free will defense. Just for your education.
It’s not evil to allow an evil act to occur?
Please define how you can objectively identify evil. Does objective evil exist? How do you know? How do you recognise it?
But this is not what I think of when I ponder an all-powerful good and perfect god.
And if this thread were all about "Does David think ____ when he think of 'an all-powerful good and perfect god'", then I guess we'd be done. But it's not.
How can a perfectly morally good entity fail to act to prevent evil?
For one thing, b/c He has a better good in store by allowing this evil now.
For another, b/c you don't get to define what's good and evil. He does.
So, is the murder a good thing or a bad thing?
The murder would be a bad thing for the human, b/c the human doesn't know what the future holds for the victim. If it just so happens that the victim would grow up to be Hitler, I can't know that but God does. God might arrange for him to die, maybe even thru being murdered, and thus prevent him from growing up to be another Hitler. But only God knows that. Further, God has the right to kill anyone or command that anyone be killed at any time.
People die every second of every day. Man is fallen and sinful, and the penalty for sin is death - Romans 3:23 and following through the end of chapter 5. It is only thru God's forbearance and mercy that I or any other person draw the next breath. And the next, and the next. And of course, it is only thru His mercy in Christ's death and resurrection that eternal Hell is not everyone's final destination.
Murder is defined as the unjustified taking of human life.
Yet, as every man, woman, and child is sinful and bears the guilt of the sin of Adam, all are subject to the death penalty. This also includes the various peoples of Canaan, whom God commanded the OT Hebrews to put to death after hundreds of years of giving them time to repent of their perversions. This includes the millions of babies that die every year in the womb (re: Sam Harris' correct and yet wrongheaded and amazingly morally blind assertion that God is the greatest living abortionist). God is fully justified in putting anyone to death at any time thru any manner or agency He chooses.
And why would God ever use evil acts to bring about good things?
B/c it glorifies Him.
See, by this point you're just taking the Eddie Tabash/Chrissy Hitchens approach, asking a lot of questions that are in effect arguments from personal outrage. But you need to give us a reason to think these questions matter. Like in what way you're a moral authority to express such outrage, and why anyone else should imitate your outrage.