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Following The Truth: What If Mary Said “No”? (Catholic or Open)
CE.com ^ | October 13th, 2009 | Gary Zimak

Posted on 12/23/2011 9:48:45 AM PST by Salvation

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To: Alex Murphy

Does it combine the determinate side with the free will side? No more schizophrenia!


41 posted on 12/23/2011 3:59:03 PM PST by suzyjaruki (What if Jesus had said "No"?)
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To: ReformationFan

Start with Luke 1:26 and keep reading.


42 posted on 12/23/2011 4:25:59 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: vladimir998; 7MMmag
I knew what you would do, but you still freely chose it.

The answer is still not "helicopter".

43 posted on 12/23/2011 4:44:50 PM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Alex Murphy

You wrote:

“The answer is still not “helicopter”.”

Right, the answer is “denial of the Annunciation”.


44 posted on 12/23/2011 5:02:14 PM PST by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

AMEN to that!


45 posted on 12/23/2011 5:15:56 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Biggirl
AMEN to that [post #39]!

"Amen" to a cheap carny mindreading act?

46 posted on 12/23/2011 5:20:04 PM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
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To: Tramonto

“Martha actually said no first and then the angel went to Mary.”

LOL! Guess the chapter and verse on that are in the book of Hezekiah.


47 posted on 12/23/2011 5:25:09 PM PST by MayflowerMadam
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To: Alex Murphy

It is a freely offered gift from God, the gift of faith and of saying “yes” to Him. I just do not understand what you said.


48 posted on 12/23/2011 5:36:58 PM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: giotto
The paradox of how we can have free will and still make choices which are already known to God is one of many brain twisters in Catholic dogma. It’s best not to think about it.

It's easily resolved. Imagine that you sit down with a deck of cards to play a game of Klondike Solitaire. Once you've dealt out the first 28 cards, you notice that among the face up cards are the Diamond Five and the Spade Jack. Can you place the Spade Jack on the Diamond Five? Why or why not? What would possibly prevent you from doing so? If you were to attempt to place the Spade Jack on the Diamond Five, would the two cards develop such strong electric charges that the Spade Jack wouldn't sit flat on the Diamond Five? Or would the Solitaire Police burst into your home for placing a card on another card whose rank is not numerically one higher than the card being placed? Unless you have a very odd deck, or live in a place with really weird cops, neither of those things would happen. In what sense, then, could one really say that one "can't" place a Spade Jack on a Diamond Five?

The answer is that there is nothing physically that would prevent one from arranging the cards however one would want, or peeking at any cards he sees fit. The player is in some sense omnipotent and omniscient when it comes to the cards on the table before him. In another sense, however, the player is comparatively powerless: the player, despite his omnipotence, cannot act in a way contrary to the rules of Klondike Solitaire while still playing the game. The moment the player behaves in ways not permitted by the rules, the player would cease to be playing Klondike Solitaire.

When God decided to give Man free will, He decided that He would run the universe, and allow it to run itself, according to certain rules. He would have the capability, at any time He chose, to disregard those rules, but only at the expense of abandoning the "game". The moment he would decide that it was okay to disregard any rule in any way, all of the rules would become meaningless. If He follows the rules, then many of the things that happen in the world would happen as a result of man's free will. Were God to intervene in ways not permitted by the rules he set for himself, that would imply that anything bad that happened would be a result not of man's free will, but of God's decision not to intervene.

With regard to the question in the original post, I don't think there's any great mystery. Mary received a calling to play a part in God's plan, as do many other people. Some people answer their callings; others do not. If God calls to someone to do something for Him and that person refuses, God usually doesn't push the issue. He simply finds someone else. If Mary had decided to refuse God's calling, that wouldn't have been a major obstacle to His "plan": she'd simply have joined the throng of forgettable and forgotten people throughout history while some other woman was chosen to be the Mother of Christ. Indeed, while it's possible Mary was God's first choice, she wouldn't have to have been. Perhaps God called to someone else first, but that person said "no", and thus Mary was called upon. She's the first person who history remembers as having been called upon in that way, because anyone who had said "no" would have long since been forgotten.

49 posted on 12/23/2011 10:06:12 PM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: armydoc
But to suggest that she could have thwarted the redemptive plan of God is ludicrous, perhaps even heretical. It elevates a human above God.

God gave humans free will. Individuals are free to either participate in God's plan, or to resist it. If God's plan calls for someone to play a particular role, and that person refuses, that portion of God's plan will not proceed as intended, and alternate arrangements will have to be made. That does not imply that humans are above God, however. An individual standing in the ocean can push his hands through the water, and the water will get out of his hands' way. That does not, however, mean the individual is more powerful than the ocean. Likewise, if individuals want to resist God's plan, they will be free to do so, but God will call upon other individuals to do what needs to be done.

50 posted on 12/23/2011 10:14:11 PM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: vladimir998
God knows what we will choose, but He allows free will.

God could know, if he wanted to, but that doesn't imply that he does. For God's gift of free will to have meaning, he must be open to the possibility of being "surprised". If He were to make his decisions based upon knowledge of people's future actions, so as to ensure that nobody would ever have the power to do things that He would really dislike, then He would be substituting His own will for those of his people, and his gift would be meaningless.

51 posted on 12/23/2011 10:22:34 PM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: supercat
But asking Mary was merely a formality. Why? Because of the Immaculate Conception. Whoever said "yes" to His request must have been born without sin. Are you saying that God created a whole shelf full of sinless girls, just to increase His odds? Or did He, upon the refusal by one of them, go back in time and make the next candidate's conception immaculate? He is God, after all.

The paradox becomes less puzzling at this point. Mary, being humble and wise beyond her years, discerned His plan, recognized her part in it, and agreed--free will to the extent that she chose to accept His will, but no free will at all when you realize that it was against her nature not to. In other words, God had created a perfect creature who was programmed to carry out His plan. And being born without sin simply guaranteed that she could never be corrupted. Again, not really a choice.

52 posted on 12/24/2011 2:13:17 AM PST by giotto
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To: supercat

You wrote:

“God could know, if he wanted to, but that doesn’t imply that he does.”

God knows. He can only know. If He did not know, He would not be God.

“For God’s gift of free will to have meaning, he must be open to the possibility of being “surprised”.”

Completely false. His gift is to us, not Himself. Thus, His experience of our choices is irrelevant.

“If He were to make his decisions based upon knowledge of people’s future actions, so as to ensure that nobody would ever have the power to do things that He would really dislike, then He would be substituting His own will for those of his people, and his gift would be meaningless.”

No. God knows all. He still gives us free will. His knowledge of all has absolutely nothing to do with the extent of the gift He has given us.


53 posted on 12/24/2011 5:21:03 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998
God knows. He can only know. If He did not know, He would not be God.

If God's knew everything that was going to happen "in advance", then the fact that any of it actually did happen would be meaningless.

Who is more powerful--you, or a deck of playing cards? If you sit down to play a game of Klondike Solitaire, is there any reason why you couldn't know and control the position of all the cards at the start? Would peeking at all the cards, and arranging them with the advantage of that knowledge, make the game more or less fun than it would be with the cards hidden?

Or, let me ask a biblical question: Could God destroy humanity with a flood starting December 26, 2011, and lasting forty days and forty nights? It would certainly be within His power to do so, as He has demonstrated once in the past. He could not do so, however, without rendering completely meaningless any promise He has ever made to mankind. His power is not limited in a "physical" sense, but it is nonetheless absolutely restrained.

54 posted on 12/24/2011 7:15:20 AM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: supercat

You wrote:

“If God’s knew everything that was going to happen “in advance”, then the fact that any of it actually did happen would be meaningless.”

Not to us.

“Who is more powerful—you, or a deck of playing cards? If you sit down to play a game of Klondike Solitaire, is there any reason why you couldn’t know and control the position of all the cards at the start?”

So, to you, we are merely cards that God is playing with? Would God send His Son to die on a cross for playing cards?

“Would peeking at all the cards, and arranging them with the advantage of that knowledge, make the game more or less fun than it would be with the cards hidden?”

So, this is about fun for God? I think your whole outlook is skewed if your statements are anything to go by.

“Or, let me ask a biblical question: Could God destroy humanity with a flood starting December 26, 2011, and lasting forty days and forty nights?”

He could, but won’t for He said He would not destroy the world with a flood again.

“It would certainly be within His power to do so, as He has demonstrated once in the past. He could not do so, however, without rendering completely meaningless any promise He has ever made to mankind. His power is not limited in a “physical” sense, but it is nonetheless absolutely restrained.”

That has nothing to do with His knowledge. He knows all. That doesn’t mean He does all.


55 posted on 12/24/2011 7:35:47 AM PST by vladimir998
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To: Salvation; All

If Mary had said no, God would have had Gabriele ask another virgin. The Catholic Church would have done with her as they did with Mary. You would have this same article with her name every place Mary’s is and her graven images would not be worshipped just like the graven images of Mary aren’t.

May God lead us into His truth, BVB


56 posted on 12/24/2011 8:51:04 AM PST by Bobsvainbabblings
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To: vladimir998

BTTT for that answer!


57 posted on 12/24/2011 9:59:25 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: vladimir998

Just as a matter of style points, I’m not sure using the most predictable clown here is the best example of free will ;)


58 posted on 12/24/2011 10:46:36 AM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: vladimir998
Not to us.

But in what way would we be meaningful to Him? If God knows exactly what anyone will do before the person does it, in what way would anyone's decisions be able to please or displease God? I would aver that God has a plan for this world, and things that facilitate the plan would please him more than things that would obstruct it.

So, to you, we are merely cards that God is playing with? Would God send His Son to die on a cross for playing cards?

No single analogy can cover every single aspect of God; any analogy is going to have its limitations. The playing card analogy is good, I think, for emphasizing that while a person could exercise complete authority over the cards, interacting with them from a standpoint of limited authority is often much more satisfying. The fact that a person playing cards wouldn't generally have any particular feelings for the cards he's using is simply a weakness in the analogy, and is not in any way meant to imply that God doesn't care about people.

So, this is about fun for God? I think your whole outlook is skewed if your statements are anything to go by.

The very notion of endeavoring to please God would seem rather meaningless if God was incapable of pleasure, would it not? Analogies have their limits, but I think the type of pleasure God is after would be one more associated with satisfaction than "fun". Something akin to the satisfaction a parent might feel when a son performs some challenging task that demonstrates his parents taught him well. The parents might have been capable of performing the task themselves, but only by letting the son do it could they receive the satisfaction. That has nothing to do with His knowledge. He knows all. That doesn’t mean He does all.

Suppose someone made a promise to someone else to help rescue the other person's house if it was ever flooded. Such an offer might seem generous. Suppose, however, that the person making the offer knew the house was going to be seized under eminent domain and flattened to make way for an roadway before there was any possibility of it flooding. Would that affect the level of generosity implicit in the offer?

A promise is only meaningful if there is some possibility of circumstances arising where it would compel action. To my mind, there would be a huge difference between a God who promised, without knowing what the future holds, that he would never again destroy mankind as he had done in Genesis, versus one who looked at the future and simply declared that he knew mankind would never again go so far off track as to merit destruction.

To my mind, any causal model which implies that everything that will ever happen is preordained is a causal model in which nobody has any moral accountability for anything. Some people try to claim that predestination does not contradict moral accountability, but any such models I've seen appear to hand-wave over the contradiction without resolving it. My view of God and the universe resolves the issue, by observing that God has a plan, and God knows what that plan is, but humans can decide of their own free will to either assist or fight it. In no sense are the individual actions of individual people preordained; individuals are fully morally accountable for their own actions.

59 posted on 12/24/2011 11:41:29 AM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: vladimir998

prove it. on the other thread.


60 posted on 12/24/2011 11:19:35 PM PST by 7MMmag
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