A case for middle knowledge?

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A case for middle knowledge?

Postby Mutcer » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:02 am

Recently I was having a discussion with a Christian apologist about the problem of evil. The apologist would reconcile this by claiming God doesn't prevent ISIS terrorists from killing innocent people because doing so would prevent him from accomplishing some kind of greater good and added that God can't do that which is logically impossible. I pointed out that if God can do anything logically possible, he could just as easily accomplish his greater good if the ISIS terrorists didn't kill anyone than if they did kill someone - unless the greater good encompasses having ISIS terrorists kill innocent civilians, in which case we're not talking about a benevolent god. The Christian responded by bringing up the butterfly effect and we agreed on an example:

1) If God prevents the ISIS terrorists from killing the innocent civilians, then God can't prevent a massive typhoon from wiping out 100,000 people on the coast of the Philippines.
2) If God doesn't prevent the ISIS terrorists from killing the innocent civilians, then God can prevent the massive typhoon from wiping out 100,000 people on the coast of the Philippines.

He then asked how I know there isn't a causal connection between the two and agreed that this was a good example of two incidents which if they had a causal connection, we wouldn't know about the causal connection. He added if they have a causal connection, this could make it a logical impossibility for God to both prevent the ISIS killings and the catastrophic typhoon. IOW, it was meant to show that God's inability to accomplish his greater good should he prevent the ISIS killings from occurring was limited not because he is limited in his powers, but because he can't do the logically impossible.

So I asked him who set up the rules determining that there are causal connection as described in the example. He said God set up the rules. I then followed up by asking him if God had a choice of making it (1) logically impossible for both the ISIS killings and the catastrophic typhoon to be prevented or to (2) not make it logically impossible for both to be prevented, which do you think would be a better course of action for a loving, caring and good God?

At this point, he dodged the question and went on a moderate dissertation about middle knowledge, including the claim that God "doesn't make things logically impossible" - which was a clear contradiction. The way he avoided the very straightforward binary question strongly suggested he realizes I caught him in a hole which he couldn't get out of.

I later asked him about his two contradictory claims that 1) God doesn't make things logically impossible while also asserting that 2) God is the one who set up the rules which dictate what is or isn't logically impossible. I offered him the opportunity to recant his earlier claim that it was God who set up those rules, but he refused to accept.

What do others think?
In the event of an impending catastrophe, only a coward would sit back and do nothing if given the power to do anything.

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Re: A case for middle knowledge?

Postby phyllo » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:51 pm

How come you guys (both of you) know so much about what God can do or can't do ... what God had to do and didn't have to do ?
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Re: A case for middle knowledge?

Postby Sanguinus » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:34 pm

The divine will guarantees life, it does not guarantee logic.
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