There Can Be No Relationship Between a Free Agent and a Determined Agent: Foundational contradictions in Reformed thinking

“That which is infinite must be absent an observer, and that which is absent an observer must be infinite. That which is infinite cannot exist, because existence is a qualifier/quantifier which cannot be applied except by an observer, who cannot, by definition, be in the presence of the infinite.  If something exists, it is not infinite, but finite, because the presence of the observer mitigates the “self’ of that thing which would otherwise be infinite (and thus without any qualification) absent the presence of the observer.  Therefore, when the observer is removed from the metaphysical AND physical equation, all things are infinite, and are thus utterly valueless.  Why?  Because observation is existence.  Truly then, every human observer creates in the conceptual sense the existence of what they observe…they define TRUTH.  God, of course, creates what ACTUALLY is observed; He creates what IS.  God then creates objects (by observation), and man creates meaning (by observation).  Man’s power to create meaning and TRUTH is man’s word (the language of man); God’s power to create material objects in order that man may observe them and conceptually organize them with respect to himself as THE standard of TRUTH is God’s Word (the language of God).  This is why Jesus is often thought of as the Word of God.  Jesus is the material actualization of God within man’s existential frame of reference.  Jesus is the supreme material revelation which proves the power of God’s Word (His ability to create anything absolutely).  This of course presumes that the Bible is not, in fact, God’s  “Word”; which it is not.  

“Absolute to absolute.  Determinism to determinism.  Free to free.  Infinity to infinity.  Any attempt to couple these notions…to couple what is limitless to its limitless opposite (a free agent, like the Creator, observing His determined Creation) will result in an utter schism of reason; an inexorable contradiction in terms, a contradiction of TRUTH, and an irreconcilable chasm within man’s whole existential philosophy.”

The first quote is a thought from my head.  The second a quote from my notes, via my head.  I believe them to be axiomatic, having thought upon them for quite some time.  And no, to answer the question in your mind right now (perhaps), it doesn’t take much more than that.  Much more than thinking.  I mean…think about it, that’s all.  With respect to the second quote:  How does the free interact with the determined?  We presume this to be TRUTH so quickly and instinctively that we scarcely blink when we are presented with such a notion:  “God has planned out for you every day for the rest of your life.”  But try to reconcile that in your mind.  Your days are determined, and you are determined then, by extension, because the salient component of your day is…you.  But God, they demand, is utterly free, unfettered by determinist forces, doing what he pleases, with no predictable rationale.

How can that be possible?  How can God “freely determine”.  For if we remove any observable object from the equation, be it man or any other material substance in the universe, and strictly put in a “box” the concepts of “free” and “determined” it doesn’t take much to realize that these concepts, denied any object by which they can be valued, must be utterly infinite; that is, defined merely by the value of “itself”.  The only definition remaining is that they are what they are, period, full stop (and even that definition is a qualifier which is antithetical to an “is”…the real point is that a thing which is both infinite and absent an observer cannot exist because it can in no way be qualified or quantified as as existing).   So, the notions must be infinite.  And thus the question becomes:  how can infinite concepts be coupled in a way that does not contradict them?

But here is the thing:  according to our perfunctory Platonism we don’t remove observable objects, including man, from the equation.  We simply reverse the thinking.  Instead of what actually exists as a part of the material universe giving value to the otherwise infinite conceptual abstractions (like determinism and free; up and down; space and time; red and blue), we declare that those infinite, unobservable concepts somehow give value to what is material.  But the problem is that this does not mitigate the infinity of the concepts…they are still infinite and thus cannot be said to exist with respect to us.  Why?  Because the concepts cannot be observed…only material objects are observed.  And if they cannot be observed by man, then man has no way to qualify or quantify them.  They are still limitless, by definition…and determined is still infinitely determined, free is still infinitely free, red is still infinitely red, and so on.  All we’ve done is declared that man’s senses–the tools of his observation–are irrelevant.  Useless for declaring truth.  Truth is a function of the infinite unobservable forces which drive the material objects in the universe…and these forces, again, we concede are beyond man’s capacity to KNOW; perhaps we say that we can know the objects they absolutely control, but that avails man nothing in terms of defining what exactly the objects ARE or what they are DOING; for indeed, the objects are, as Plato declares, merely “shadows”…insufficient representations of the all determining forces, or as I call them, the concepts. And…actually,  I would submit that declaring them “shadows” is not in fact a reasonable description.  Because the concepts themselves which govern them do so absolutely, there can be no quantifiable/quantifiable distinction made between the concepts and the objects.  If the concepts are indeed infinite and absolute, then there can be NO separation between the concepts and what they control…because infinity can have no limit.  Thus, man cannot declare the objects shadows.  Man cannot declare them anything at all.  He has no idea and no capacity to explain just what he is observing.  Man’s entire existence is a lie.

Man’s definitions of these concepts then are always and perpetually false…an illusion, or a lie.  Because if man cannot see that which gives value to everything that exists, then man cannot see anything by definition.  If an object he observes is given a value by an infinite concept he cannot see, and thus cannot declare exists, then how does man exactly define the object he is observing? It is impossible.  All of reality is an illusion.  And if all reality is an illusion brought on a determining force which is utterly infinite because it is beyond the scope of man’s senses, then what exactly is man?  How do we even define the human SELF? To say that man is determined by the forces which drive the existence of all material objects in the universe means that man is a product of determinism, and therefore he cannot observe himself in any real way any more than he can observe other objects.  Because observation implies a free agent who can apprehend the truth/reality of what he/she is observing.  If man is determined, then so must be his ability to observe, which means that he cannot freely observe, which means that he cannot separate himself from what he observes…he, like the objects, is merely a product of the determining force.  He can no more apprehend SELF than he can apprehend the TRUTH of the things he observes.

What is my point?  The point is that NO ONE and nothing, not even God, can freely observe that which is determined.  Because “free” and “determined” are mutually exclusive concepts, which, if taken to be actual (that is, existing beyond the abstract value of them applied to material objects man and God observe), must be infinite and absolute.  And, like I said in my second quote above, the coupling of mutually exclusive infinite concepts within a singular existential framework is a complete contradiction in terms.

This contradictory thinking is, unfortunately, the foundational assumption of the most popular philosophy in the world today, I submit:  Platonism, functioning as determinism via the gnostic acceptance of the Primacy of Consciousness.  And the worst part is that it infects the church like an incurable cancer.  It is a totally impossible lie, and yet, it is this which is precisely taught almost categorically, in one form or another, in every single Christian church in America, and likely the world.

Why is this important to understand?  Because I firmly believe that this is a philosophy which denies salvation to the human race because it specifically denies the human race an identity.  And even worse, it makes God utterly unknowable.  The resistance to reason we see in the church is the resistance to the reality of God.  And any philosophy which denies God, can promise salvation…er, how, exactly?  It cannot.

Narrow is the road.  And that is why this is important.  We have generations upon generations who don’t know God and aren’t known by God because they OBSERVE and BELIEVE–which are the fundamentals of human existential reality–that they do not have an existence which is knowable!  There is no THEM to exist…and this is why a omniscient God can declare without contradiction “Depart from Me, for I never knew you.”

“God isn’t up there scratching His head saying, ‘Why did so and so lose his job; why did such and such get diagnosed with cancer?’ God has every day of your life already planned out.”

So said the popular TV preacher to his sprawling audience this morning as I was channel surfing while girding my lions for our family’s weekly excursion into metaphysical madness and epistemological insanity (church…it’s a long story, don’t ask).

This is nothing new.  I have heard a variation of this bullshit dozens of times over the course of my Christian life.  The idea that you are merely an irrelevant observer to your own existence is completely within the pale of orthodoxy with respect to Protestant Christianity.  And, as I stated above, being an irrelevant observer is not really observing at all.  And if you cannot observe, you cannot know, which means you cannot actually define existence, either God’s or your own.  And this is the insidious lie running like a burning thread through the theology of millions and likely billions of people around the world, propagated by the mystics who stand in the surety, and often the wealth, of their lies before those who have decided that they cannot make any rational decision at all save one:  to accept that some mystic behind a podium is more qualified to judge their lives than they are; that truth is not learned, nor applied, but bestowed and ridden like a wave by submitting one’s very SELF to the unobservable force of divine  determinism.

But let’s bring this down to the chalk board of philosophy, removing the vestiges of mysticism and the trappings of lights, and rock-band worship, and annoying, heavily-affected sermons.

How exactly can God be a free witness to the Creation He has determined?  How can man be a free witness to his life, which exists in an environment which is wholly determined?  How can this scenario–the free interacting with the determined–be possible?  How can two mutually exclusive ideas co-exist?  Well, the simple answer is that they cannot, and so this notion that God has planned all your days for you before you knew them must be false.  It cannot be true, at least, not in the determined sense that the neo-Calvinists always mean…and no, one cannot even appeal to God’s mystery to make them true.  The fact is that ideas are either reconcilable or not.  If we make what cannot be true according to man’s observable reality true, then we declare that man can know nothing and therefore, cannot possibly know truth from farce.

Never mind the simple fact that something cannot happen before it happens; it cannot exist before it exists.  To say that God plans your days BEFORE you go through them is precisely a declaration of this impossible idea.  God cannot plan what does not yet exist.  And, further, it cannot exist to God and NOT exist to you because it is your ability to observe objects and conceptualize their relative existence with one another and yourself which is the root of all TRUTH; thus if something doesn’t exist to YOU then it cannot exist period because only YOU are the absolute, inexorable frame of reference for all you know and accept as TRUTH because there can be no distinction between YOU and your LIFE, and you know anything you know and believe anything you believe and define anything you define inexorably and absolutely by your LIFE, and nothing else.  Moreover, existence and non-existence are mutually exclusive concepts which cannot be reconciled in a single object…meaning, your environment, your LIFE, cannot both exist and not exist at the same time.  If your day is not YET, then it does not exist.  And if it does not exist it cannot be planned…it cannot be anything, because NOTHING by definition cannot be something, no matter how hard we may try to make this idea work logically.  Certainly God can have plans, but they can be no more inexorable and inevitable than yours, because inevitability is merely an abstract concept.  A day of your life is a day when it exists, and not one minute before.  Thus, if you are a free agent and God is a free agent (remembering that like infinite concepts are the only ones which can co-relate) then there is no day which IS absolutely before it is.  You and God co-exist in the days together…they exist only after they are manifest as a function of your LIFE.  And if it is your life then YOU are the single most salient component of your day, just like God is the most salient component of His day.  Remember, when God interacts with man He must interact with him on man’s level, and that is the level of the conceptual abstraction.  God having “plans” does not in any way, nor can it, imply determinism…of existence of something before it exists to man.  God declaring He has plans is thus the exact same thing (conceptual) as you declaring that YOU have plans.  Thus, God freely planning for your life is only efficacious if you freely exist within your life…the plans then are not “determined”, that is, existing because you are nothing more than an extension of a determining force, but the plans God has indicate the relationship of two free, self-aware agents.  God acting, and man recognizing the actions through the objects he observes (which can include God, Himself), valuing those actions by the efficacious use of conceptual abstractions measured by the standard of his LIFE, and then acting in accordance or contrary to those plans as man’s free, self-volition decides.   Thus, the plans are nothing more than an idea of how God sees the “future”…but the actuality of those plans (and the “future”) must involve the free agency of man.  God is not deemed a liar or hypocrite if man freely thwarts those plans in accordance with his own free will…for plans are nothing more than conceptualizations God uses in order to relate to man as a function of man’s existential frame of reference.  The concept of plan does not actually exist for God to violate or affirm based on His own free actions.  And this is then the problem with this notion that God is not a conceptual Being, but a determining One.  If God determines, then the logical consistency of the idea demands that God is just as much as slave to the predetermined “future”, or plans, or reality as man is.  God can no more deny a future which is determined than man can.  Thus, if determinism is the force in play–if the concept of “plan” becomes a real thing in and of itself, apart from being merely a means by with the self-aware agents organize their existence with respect to a mutually efficacious relationship–then BOTH God and man must be determined by whatever is declared to exist inexorably, regardless of whatever God or man thinks or wants, because whatever God wants or thinks must be subservient to that which is determined.  Determinism is absolute, and thus ANYTHING that happens must have been determined to happen, and could not have happened any other way.  All of God’s and man’s thoughts and actions are merely extensions of the determining force.  To say that God determines contradicts His own existence as a free thinking, free acting Agent.

But on an even more pragmatic level…how is it a free agent can observe a determined object?  It contradicts the notions, again.  For in the moment it is observed, the determined object must be declared a freely observed determined object.  But this would have to mean that the determined object was irrevocably determined to be at that place at that time in order to be observed by that particular observer.  And if that particular observer had to observe the determined object at that time and at that place, then the observer could not have been free to observe it.  The observer is just as much a part of the determining equation governing the determined object as the determined object is.  The object had to be observed at that time and place by that observer which means the observer had to be there to observe it.  The observer could not have been free to be there or not; his or her life must have inexorably led them to that particular place and time in order that the determined object could be observed by them.    This is the absolute nature of determinism, and is why if man is determined, then the God who creates and sees man must be determined as well.

The converse is then true.  If the observing agent is truly free, then what he or she observes must be free to be wherever it is to be observed in equal measure.  Follow the logic through the same way.  If the agent is freely observing from a time and place which they have freely chosen, of their own free volition, then the object observed could not have been determined to be where it was observed.  The object must have likewise arrived at the time and place of its observation according to is own free ability to be there, of itself alone.  For if the observer is freely observing, and freedom is absolute, then whatever they are observing must be a function of that freedom.  If there is no external law or equation which demands that they must have inevitably arrived at that time and place to observe this or that thing, then there is no guarantee  that they would have been there at all.  Therefore, that they were there is completely by “chance” so to speak…a random manifestation of their freedom to act…which means that whatever they are observing may or may not have been observed by them at any given time up to the event; therefore, the object observed could not have been determined to be there.  It is observed then and there for no other reason than that is where it just so happened to be.

And finally, consider this argument as well:  How do you qualify or quantify cause and effect if you are a free agent observing the interaction of two (or more) determined objects?  That one acts and one responds (that one causes an effect upon another) is purely an illusion…for there can be no such thing as cause and effect if both objects are equally determined, and determinism is, again, absolute.  If one ball strikes another ball, for example, then the force of one, we would say caused the other to move.  But if the balls are both determined, then both the striking of the first ball and the resultant movement of the second ball were going to happen no matter what, regardless of what either one did.  That is the nature of determinism…it is the declaration that any act observed by man is inevitable.  In effect, existing before it exists, regardless of whether it is observed or not; the action IS, infinitely, and absolute.  Observation is irrelevant in the matter.

The determined action of the first ball is infinite and absolute.  The determined reaction of the second ball is infinite and absolute.  Therefore, there is no actual relationship between the two actions…they ARE determined effects and objects wholly in and of themselves.  Thus, what one might observe as a cause and effect interaction is merely a lie.  There is no actual interaction because both action and reaction are infinite and singular determined events.  What if the first ball had missed the second ball?  Well, if we say that the second ball would not have moved we have conceded that the resultant movement of the second ball was not in fact, determined:  If the ball had missed it, it would not have moved.  And if we accept this as a plausible event–that the first ball could have missed the second ball–then we cannot by definition concede that the second ball was determined; it only moved because it was acted upon by the first ball, and until it was struck by the second ball it may or may not have moved, because it could or could not have been struck in the first place.  And if it could or could not have been struck in the first place, then the the first ball is likewise not determined.  The movement of the second ball is a free response by to being struck by the first one, which was a free action.

What one will argue then is that the first ball could not have missed the second because it was determined to strike it; in which case the second ball must have been determined to move in response.  Thus, the determining force is threaded equally and absolutely through both balls, denying any actual relationship between the two, and rendering man’s qualification of cause and effect purely illusory, as well as dismantling man’s ability to make any actual distinction between the two balls.  They are utterly identical in terms of being  subservient to the determining force.  There is no distinction between first ball and second ball, because you cannot sequentially order what is absolutely and infinitely determined.  If there is no relationship between objects, then man cannot possibly identify an object, because the ability to identify an object means it must be seen as distinct from other objects.  But if there is NO relationship, then then can be NO distinction.  Man cannot actually say what it is he observes.  His very language-that which he uses to label and define–is perfectly useless and categorically insufficient for anything.   Again…to reiterate: there can be no separation in the movement/actions of objects which can be declared valid, and so there can be no valid separation between objects themselves.  Both balls in this example are nothing more than illusions…extensions of the determining force which not only controls, but must BE in ESSENCE the objects in question.

The point is this:  if determinism is a fact, then man cannot possibly conceptualize effectively his environment because man can never make an actual distinction between this object or that.  Both are singularities of the determining force.  What man qualifies as a cause is not actually any different than what he qualifies as an effect.  What man qualifies as up is not actually any different as down.  Left or right, two or seven.  There is no means by which man can organize his environment that isn’t a total lie.  There is no truth because the truth is hidden behind the objects which man observes to move relative to one another, but which man cannot actually qualify or quantify as moving at all.  The movement of each object is the determined force, which is unobservable because it is absolute and infinite.

And if man cannot really know his environment according to his own created conceptual abstractions which are given value by the objects themselves (that is, man can actually declare that the objects he observes ACT according to their own infinite ability to BE what they are, and that this ability is rooted in themselves alone), instead of the other way around, then man cannot define himSELF.

And this means that there is no YOU which you can declare exists.  And if there is no YOU, then how can YOU be saved?

This may seem like complicated semantics; a mere mincing of philosophy; the calculus of metaphysics.  Interesting, or confusing, but irrelevant to real life.  I assure you it is not…the only reason this is difficult for us to understand is because we have evolved from several thousand years of Platonist farce.  Our inability to perceive the difference between what are abstract concepts we create to organize what we observe and the actuality of the things we observe is what clouds our thinking in these matters.

All truth must stem from this idea first:  YOU ARE YOU, and you are no other.  Thus, all truth starts with the existence of yourSELF.  YOU are the object by which all TRUTH must conform…the standard of life is the admission that you actually exist, and are NOT a function of anything except your own physical ability to BE ( (from which extends your self-aware consciousness) .

This is the first axiom you must concede.  If you do not, you will never escape the bonds of false ideas, false religion, and false existence.

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