There are some responses from Leighton in the comment section that we can also clean up:
“A bypass of God-given character and desires”
So presume the mad scientist doesn’t bypass you’re God-given character and desires but by means of the nodes uses them perfectly in the same manner God doesn’t. Then how do you, not the scientist, rationally affirm truth and refute Tim’s argument? Once again you avoid the point of the analogy by inserting an irrelevant distinction that we can grant without changing the point of the analogy itself.
I take it to be the case that Leighton meant to type “in the same manner God does”. The problem is that it isn’t possible for an agent to cause us to act in the same way God does. It assumes God acts under the same causal laws we act. Is it really possible for a mad scientist to not by-pass your God-given desires when he’s electrocuting your brain for experiments? Are we to believe that the agent actually wants to be a test rat?
The difference is your two wills of God is that they are contradicting themselves. ie God is determining people to do what he doesn’t prescriptively will them to do. Our view doesn’t create this dilemma. Our view is more normative, like when a parent wants a child to do X freely.
Well, let us make it causal.
If God hadn’t determined to make this world, then the evils of it wouldn’t have occurred.
That implies God willed this world into being and intended for the things that occurred to happen. So, on your view, God wills that everyone is saved and yet created a timeline intending that they won’t. Thus two desire and you can’t merely say both these desires are “prescriptive”.
Problem: the purpose of the law was never to be fulfilled by man or to be a means of their salvation. It’s purpose is to help men to know their need for Christ so they can trust Him to fulfill the law in their stead. So, men CAN fulfill that command by faith in Christ but Bignon insists they cannot, which is question begging. Bignon’s argument only works if the purpose of the law (like that of the gospel) was to be followed by man for their salvation.
I mean Leighton is a semi-pelagian. He doesn’t understand the testimony of Paul that we can’t fulfill the Law because we are born in sin. So, Leighton has to maintain that since man is commanded to do the Law, then it is possible that man can be sinless. Bignon’s point isn’t that we can’t fulfill the Law through Christ, but Leighton’s view implies we can do it apart from Christ.
So pretend the puppet has self-consciousness but he is still controlled by the puppeteer. How then do you answer the argument? Bignon continually avoids the point of the analogy by inserting an irrelevant distinction. Hey Jesus, stop calling us sheep because we don’t have four hooves. If we grant you the relevant caveat you point out then that removes that caveat as a means for you to dismiss it.
This isn’t an argument but a poor attempt at a thought experiment. Suppose you have this Pinocchio. Is there reason to think God’s determinism has some relevant similarity to someone beating someone else to death with a sentient puppet? Leighton will need to argue that there is. When he does, he will violate the creator/creature distinction and puts over God some laws of causality that explain the relationship between us.
Suppose theistic determinism is true and Bignon is absolutely correct. Would it be falsifiable? If so, how so? And why would I bother attempting to falsify it unless the One who determined Bignon to teach this truth also determined me to attempt and disprove that same truth? When Bignon was asked if God had determined for us to disagree he gladly agrees without offering any rational or Biblical reason for why God (One who doesn’t author confusion) might do this to his own children and to those in the church we impact. If Bignon is correct then God (by means of Braxton, Tim and I) is authoring a great amount of confusion and dissent against truth. Some arguments you don’t need to disprove. You just need to make sure everyone understands what is being said so they know to reject it for what it is.
It would be falsifiable if you had a defeater for it. So, it easy to think of a method for it to be falsified. But if we are to suppose it is true, then why suppose there could be a defeater for it? Leighton needs a better argument than this.
Also, to say something is logically possible but not feasible is not equal to saying it might actually happen. Bignon misunderstood my view of sin. He has to agree that there is no logical contradiction with any given person choosing not to sin at any given moment, unless he thinks everyone always sins every second they act. I was expecting Bignon to better understand what is meant by logical possibilities vs what is feasible. I affirm that all do sin but just not because they were determined by their God to do so. And notice Bignon skips over aborted babies or infants who die by suggesting they don’t need Jesus. Is that true?
Why think it isn’t feasible?