As I said in my previous post, Chris, “I think we need to slow down and take this one baby step at a time”; I also suggested that we start with this question: “Have I said something specific that has led you to suspect that, in my view, God is indeed the cause of sin?” Or, if you prefer, have I said something specific that has led you to suspect that my own understanding of sin is incoherent? What I guess I was hoping for here was that you would identify a few specific statements of mine that seem to you problematic, so that we might examine their implications more carefully. And the last thing I wanted was to discuss everything at once. Accordingly, I shall here restrict my attention to the sentences quoted above. We can always get to the rest of your reply later, if we wish.
So here is my first question: Where have I ever used the term “infinite ignorance”? I don’t even know what that might mean, and it appears as if your own usage of that term may be an intentional form of caricature. In any case, consider the following statement: Because God did not in fact create us omniscient, we all emerged and started making choices in a context marked by some degree of ambiguity and ignorance. Would you at least agree with that? If so, do you think it even possible for God to have created us omniscient? Personally, I don’t think so; and if I am right about that, then a context of ambiguity and ignorance is indeed a metaphysically necessary condition of our emergence as created rational beings. Do you disagree? If so, why?
A second question: You profess not to know how sin, given my understanding of it, “equates to anything other than ‘not knowing which choice is right.’” But have I not explicitly stated that, as I see it, one can knowingly act wrongly and that ignorance of right and wrong might not be the relevant kind of ignorance in a given context? To quote myself from a previous post: “Or consider a case where an adulterous affair leads to an absolute disaster. Even if the parties to this affair should have known, on some level at least, that they were acting wrongly, would they likely have anticipated all of the misery they were about to unleash upon themselves as well as upon their loved ones, such as their own children?” One can know that an action is wrong, in other words, without knowing what all of the consequences of doing something wrong will be. We do not, after all, have a perfect knowledge of the future. And as I also said before: “Whenever the consequences of a past action induce us later to regret that very action, we are witnessing, I believe, the role that ignorance played in making this action possible in the first place.” Would you agree with that? If not, why not?
My hope here is that instead of talking past each other, we can find some area of agreement, however small, and then try to move on from there.
All the best,