Finally the site is open! I've been waiting to ask this for a week or so. I have been pondering typical responses concerning intercession and resultant positive/negative outcomes and am hoping someone can assist with explaining the actual argument being used, or perhaps that should be used.
The gist of the problem is that I perceive believers in my circle to say both of the following:
- When desirable outcomes occur (according to common sense), God shall be praised for his actions which bring these outcomes about
- When undesirable outcomes occur (according to common sense), we have no idea what God's motivations are behind such apparent inaction
My intuitive reaction to this reality is that these statements are saying that it is both possible and impossible to know what God would or would not do, but I'm not sure my intuitions are correct and am looking for help with the underlying arguments.
Perhaps the issue is that it seems implied that God would bring about a positive outcome because of his omni-max qualities. If my understanding of this implied basis for praise is correct, I think the philosophical conundrum is this:
If one claims to know the reasons for an agent's actions (or at least that the agent brought about some outcome via action), can one claim to be entirely ignorant of reasons for an agent's inactions?
Put one last way, can one gather information about an agent's reasons for actions such that:
- the information informs one only about reasons for action,
- the information states nothing whatsoever about reasons for inaction,
- any perceived actions provide no new information about the likelihood of future action/inaction,
- and any apparent inaction provides no new information to confirm/disconfirm the original information concerning reasons for action?