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Why would god create people who would choose to be sinful? (moved from NIC)

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  • Why would god create people who would choose to be sinful? (moved from NIC)

    I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?

    Note that I'm not asking about why god didn't simply "force" Adam and Eve to obey him. This isn't a free will issue.

    If you assume that god knows everything in advance, then he must have known that Adam and Eve would sin even before he created them. When god was deciding what sort of people to create he presumably had a more-or-less infinite number of potential people to choose from, and he would have known in advance every choice that all of those hypothetical potential people would choose to make with their free will. So why did he choose to make people who he knew would sin? Why not make people who would choose to obey god and avoid all the unpleasantness?

    In a more general sense, this same reasoning makes me wonder why god would ever create a person who he knew would be bound for hell, rather than a person who he knew would become a christian and go to heaven. I'm imagining god sitting up in heaven, looking down on earth while he tries to decide what sort of person he will make next. He has an infinite number of people who he could choose to create, all perfectly possible, and for each of those potential people he can see with absolute certainty every decision that they will ever make. So he can roughly sort them into two categories; in column A there are people who he knows will use their free will to choose to be godly and obedient, while in column B there are people who he knows will use their free will to choose to be wicked and disobedient. All these hypothetical potential people are perfectly valid. So why does he decide to pick a person to create from column A instead of column B? Why not only make people who will choose to be godly?

    Obviously one way to avoid this problem is to assume that god doesn't know what choices people will make in advance, but most christians seem to agree that he definitely does know what choices people will make.

    I realize that I was a bit repetitive and long-winded in my explanation of my question, but I felt it was necessary because I've tried to ask this to other christians and they invariably seem to get mixed up on the issue of free will, or mistakenly think that I'm asking why god doesn't force people to behave. I am NOT asking about why god doesn't take away our free will or force us to do things. I am asking why god chose to create Adam, who he knew would sin, instead of, say, Steve, who he knew wouldn't sin.

  • #2
    You seem to be focused on the end result of someone's life decisions, rather than the possibilities at the start. Perhaps the wonderful part of why God created us the way He did is that each of us has the potential for righteousness, no matter the path they ended up choosing.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by HisLeast View Post
      You seem to be focused on the end result of someone's life decisions, rather than the possibilities at the start. Perhaps the wonderful part of why God created us the way He did is that each of us has the potential for righteousness, no matter the path they ended up choosing.
      I agree that if we have free will - which as far as I can tell, I do - then every person has the potential to choose to do or believe anything. But presumably god already knows what people will do with their potential before he creates them. So my question is, when he's trying to decide what person to make next and has this virtually infinite number of possible potential people who he could create, why would god choose to create people who he knows will decide to be evil, rather than people who will decide to be good?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nasor View Post
        I agree that if we have free will - which as far as I can tell, I do - then every person has the potential to choose to do or believe anything. But presumably god already knows what people will do with their potential before he creates them. So my question is, when he's trying to decide what person to make next and has this virtually infinite number of possible potential people who he could create, why would god choose to create people who he knows will decide to be evil, rather than people who will decide to be good?
        Or He knows the end of every permutation of all decisions anyone can make in their entire lives, but its up to the person to decide.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HisLeast View Post
          Or He knows the end of every permutation of all decisions anyone can make in their entire lives, but its up to the person to decide.
          Most people seem to agree that god knows in advance what people actually WILL do, not merely what they MIGHT do. As I said in my first post, one way to avoid this problem is to assume that god doesn't know what choices people will make in advance. But as I said, most christians don't seem to agree with this.

          Comment


          • #6
            What an excellent question.

            I believe that so much of the discussion of 'isms' and the doctrine of men could be much more accurately expressed in questions like these.

            I think the answer has to do with why we were created at all. The angles were already there to worship Him.. so why men?

            If there were no darkness we would never know what light was. If not for suffering, we would never know joy. If not for sin, we would have no knowledge of forgiveness. If we were not free to worship, we could not really do so.

            If we were not given free will, we would be little more then robots. To worship in spirit and truth, we had to have an alternative. Make sense? If you had a 'friend' who had no money, you would never know if he was really your friend or only so that he could eat. If we were not free to choose to serve Him, or turn to our own way then our service and our worship would mean little (nothing?).


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Amos_with_goats View Post
              If we were not given free will, we would be little more then robots. To worship in spirit and truth, we had to have an alternative. Make sense? If you had a 'friend' who had no money, you would never know if he was really your friend or only so that he could eat. If we were not free to choose to serve Him, or turn to our own way then our service and our worship would mean little (nothing?).
              I appreciate your reply, but I'm not sure you read my post (or any of the subsequent discussion) carefully. As I said in my opening post, my question is not related to free will. I am not asking why god doesn't force us to behave. I am asking why, when given the choice between creating person A who he knows will use his free will to choose to do evil or person B who he knows will use his free will to choose to do good, god would decide to create A.

              Both A and B are equally valid potential people for god to create, both have unrestrained free will. So why would god choose A instead of B?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by nasor View Post
                I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?
                ... That is a brilliant question that is seldom asked in a sincere way. The short answer may have already been given, I did not check, but it is that He did so out of "love."
                ... The long answer is much more helpful. When God created the Angels to serve Him He did the same thing with them, that is why one third of them followed Satan. For love to exist pride must be an element in the make up of the being. i.e. When I married my wife I had been on and off the stage for over twenty-five years singing and playing country outlaw music. In that I was viewed by a few men and a lot of women as a ruler, a virtual king.
                ... I had what is often termed as Self Love but that is a misnomer, What I had was pride in myself and very little concern or love for anyone else unless they could and would serve a purpose in my quest. When I married my wife I never stepped on that stage again for a number of reasons, one of which was that I humbled myself before my wife and my LORD and that is love. I became the servant of my LORD because I recognized that He loved me enough to die to purchase my entry price into Heaven and I never wanted to hurt my wife who I lovingly still humble myself to her.
                ... If God had made a robot that would never have have sinned there could be no love because he had no options. I hope this helps and God bless.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by th1bill View Post
                  ... That is a brilliant question that is seldom asked in a sincere way. The short answer may have already been given, I did not check, but it is that He did so out of "love."
                  ... The long answer is much more helpful. When God created the Angels to serve Him He did the same thing with them, that is why one third of them followed Satan. For love to exist pride must be an element in the make up of the being. i.e. When I married my wife I had been on and off the stage for over twenty-five years singing and playing country outlaw music. In that I was viewed by a few men and a lot of women as a ruler, a virtual king.
                  ... I had what is often termed as Self Love but that is a misnomer, What I had was pride in myself and very little concern or love for anyone else unless they could and would serve a purpose in my quest. When I married my wife I never stepped on that stage again for a number of reasons, one of which was that I humbled myself before my wife and my LORD and that is love. I became the servant of my LORD because I recognized that He loved me enough to die to purchase my entry price into Heaven and I never wanted to hurt my wife who I lovingly still humble myself to her.
                  ... If God had made a robot that would never have have sinned there could be no love because he had no options. I hope this helps and God bless.
                  I appreciate your reply, but I'm not sure you read my post (or any of the subsequent discussion) carefully. As I said in my opening post, my question is not related to free will. I am not asking why god doesn't force us to behave. I am asking why, when given the choice between creating person A who he knows will use his free will to choose to do evil or person B who he knows will use his free will to choose to do good, god would decide to create A.

                  Both A and B are equally valid potential people for god to create, both have unrestrained free will. So why would god choose A instead of B?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nasor View Post
                    I appreciate your reply, but I'm not sure you read my post (or any of the subsequent discussion) carefully. As I said in my opening post, my question is not related to free will. I am not asking why god doesn't force us to behave. I am asking why, when given the choice between creating person A who he knows will use his free will to choose to do evil or person B who he knows will use his free will to choose to do good, god would decide to create A.

                    Both A and B are equally valid potential people for god to create, both have unrestrained free will. So why would god choose A instead of B?
                    Unfortunately, I'm afraid you've asked a question for which there is no answer, because the way it is phrased presents in essence a logical contradiction; to wit:

                    By definition, choice involves the ability to choose between 2 options.

                    The ability to choose implies a freedom of will. Even though there may be a predisposition to (in this case) either obey or disobey, there must be the inherent ability to consciously act in a manner contrary to such predisposition.

                    Therefore if one is denied the ability to act in a manner either in accordance with, or contrary to a certain predisposition; then they no longer have a choice, nor the ability to choose.

                    Therefore, if God had created man in the manner of either A or B above, then He would not be creating a creature with a "will" in the first place...but rather a pre-programed automaton.

                    So then, logically...the question is not a valid one and can not be answered as asked.
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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nasor View Post
                      I appreciate your reply, but I'm not sure you read my post (or any of the subsequent discussion) carefully. As I said in my opening post, my question is not related to free will. I am not asking why god doesn't force us to behave. I am asking why, when given the choice between creating person A who he knows will use his free will to choose to do evil or person B who he knows will use his free will to choose to do good, god would decide to create A.

                      Both A and B are equally valid potential people for god to create, both have unrestrained free will. So why would god choose A instead of B?
                      ... Actually, when dwelt upon for a few moments my answer does, indeed, deal with all of your issues. i.e. A bit of personal history. Before I was saved I killedthree men by shooting them in the back as they relieved themselves in a river and I got drunk as a skunk that night, celebrating the event. During my twenty-five years on and off the stage I slept with a lot of women, many of them married to people I worked with. I was your A person!
                      ... There is a passage in the scriptures that states that God would not have anyone to perish but that all, even what we silly human beings consider to be a good man, to repent and to come to the knowledge of salvation. Therd is another that puts it flat and says that there are none that are good.
                      ... Now, at the same time God is guilty of creating the perfect man, the good man, but if evil is not a possibility then good is not relevant and is meaningless. You see, your problem is your trying to out-think the Omnipotent God and you are a finite being and therefore incapable of doing that.
                      ... Next, if you are here to win some points for a merit badge you have come to the wrong place. There are things about our existence here that cannot be explained and must just be accepted and God will forever remain in that catagory.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I will share my belief about this. Communicating my thoughts well is not really my strong point, so hopefully I will make sense.

                        I believe God uses EVERYONE and every situation as part of His divine plan.
                        Sometimes when we or someone around us is doing wrong, that teaches us to not make the wrong decision again. Or as I believe, God uses that experience to teach us to not make the wrong decision again.
                        Sometimes tragedy in our lives motivates us to prevent the tragedy from happening again, either to ourselves, or to others. (Example might be the mothers who started Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Or as I believe, God uses us to help others after our tragedies.

                        I hope this made sense and wasn't too convoluted!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nasor View Post
                          I appreciate your reply, but I'm not sure you read my post (or any of the subsequent discussion) carefully. As I said in my opening post, my question is not related to free will. I am not asking why god doesn't force us to behave. I am asking why, when given the choice between creating person A who he knows will use his free will to choose to do evil or person B who he knows will use his free will to choose to do good, god would decide to create A.

                          Both A and B are equally valid potential people for god to create, both have unrestrained free will. So why would god choose A instead of B?
                          #1 There is no evidence in scripture which says God knew Adam would fall and actually its irrelevant.
                          #2. Would you rather He create a bunch of mind-numbed robots ?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nasor View Post
                            I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?

                            Note that I'm not asking about why god didn't simply "force" Adam and Eve to obey him. This isn't a free will issue.

                            If you assume that god knows everything in advance, then he must have known that Adam and Eve would sin even before he created them. When god was deciding what sort of people to create he presumably had a more-or-less infinite number of potential people to choose from, and he would have known in advance every choice that all of those hypothetical potential people would choose to make with their free will. So why did he choose to make people who he knew would sin? Why not make people who would choose to obey god and avoid all the unpleasantness?

                            In a more general sense, this same reasoning makes me wonder why god would ever create a person who he knew would be bound for hell, rather than a person who he knew would become a christian and go to heaven. I'm imagining god sitting up in heaven, looking down on earth while he tries to decide what sort of person he will make next. He has an infinite number of people who he could choose to create, all perfectly possible, and for each of those potential people he can see with absolute certainty every decision that they will ever make. So he can roughly sort them into two categories; in column A there are people who he knows will use their free will to choose to be godly and obedient, while in column B there are people who he knows will use their free will to choose to be wicked and disobedient. All these hypothetical potential people are perfectly valid. So why does he decide to pick a person to create from column A instead of column B? Why not only make people who will choose to be godly?

                            Obviously one way to avoid this problem is to assume that god doesn't know what choices people will make in advance, but most christians seem to agree that he definitely does know what choices people will make.

                            I realize that I was a bit repetitive and long-winded in my explanation of my question, but I felt it was necessary because I've tried to ask this to other christians and they invariably seem to get mixed up on the issue of free will, or mistakenly think that I'm asking why god doesn't force people to behave. I am NOT asking about why god doesn't take away our free will or force us to do things. I am asking why god chose to create Adam, who he knew would sin, instead of, say, Steve, who he knew wouldn't sin.
                            If we grant, for the sake of discussion, that God exists and that he is creator of everything that exists, and we provisionally accept that the Bible speaks for God, then we find passage like this one, which hint at the answer.

                            Notice in the following passage that Paul repeats the phrase "to the praise of his glory", or to the praise of the glory of his grace."

                            Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

                            In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.

                            In Him, also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will
                            to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

                            In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory.
                            In this passage we learn that God created this world for two major reasons. First, God wanted to demonstrate the glory of his grace. He is telling the story of redemption through our physical world. He created Adam and Eve knowing they would sin because he also knew that forgiving them would demonstrate the glory of his grace. If he had created Adam and Eve, from the get go, as creatures who would always obey him, undoubtedly it would have been a glorious place, but it wouldn't provide God a context into which he might be gracious and forgiving.

                            Second, and more significantly, God created this entire world so that his son, Jesus, might be the focal point of history, and our human existence. God, through Jesus, will live among his creation taking first place in everything in order to highlight his glory. This world is the arena in which a single individual, Jesus Christ, will take preeminence as the most significant being in this world. In him, and through him, we experience God's greatest attribute -- his love.

                            Rather than creating everything in its final state, God decided orchestrate history as a narrative in order to communicate something special about himself to us all.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nasor View Post
                              I'm curious to hear any explanations the christians here might have about why god would create Adam and Eve when he knew in advance that they would eat the apple and introduce sin into the world. Why didn't god just create a pair of people who he knew would choose to obey him?

                              Note that I'm not asking about why god didn't simply "force" Adam and Eve to obey him. This isn't a free will issue.
                              It's absolutely a "free will issue"; it's what's known as causal determination (which I believe was first coined by Antony Flew in his essay Divine Omnipotence and Human Freedom). Given the choices 'S' and 'not S' (where 'S' is 'sin' and 'not S' is 'not sin'); 'P' (person) may not be forced to choose 'not S', but caused to choose - though some act of God or circumstantial situation - 'not S'. It's an attempt to reconcile the less than evident conflict between free will and omniscience (of which I agree wholeheartedly with Plantinga, there is no conflict).

                              This leads me into my answer of your first paragraph. God choose not to create a pair of people who He knew would "choose to obey Him" (I'm assuming you mean at every choice between moral good and evil) because firstly, these creatures would not be free to choose, thus the relationship you find between God and creation is mechanical and unsatisfactory; what sort of relationship can you have where one party is forced - or "caused" - to love?. Secondly, and this goes hand in hand with the first, is that to be able to freely choose moral good, one must also be able to freely choose moral evil; take away that ability to choose and also remove freedom. In sum, my answer would be because this is the best possible world.

                              Thus, it is an issue of free will and hopefully I've demonstrated that.

                              Originally posted by nasor View Post
                              In a more general sense, this same reasoning makes me wonder why god would ever create a person who he knew would be bound for hell, rather than a person who he knew would become a christian and go to heaven. I'm imagining god sitting up in heaven, looking down on earth while he tries to decide what sort of person he will make next. He has an infinite number of people who he could choose to create, all perfectly possible, and for each of those potential people he can see with absolute certainty every decision that they will ever make. So he can roughly sort them into two categories; in column A there are people who he knows will use their free will to choose to be godly and obedient, while in column B there are people who he knows will use their free will to choose to be wicked and disobedient. All these hypothetical potential people are perfectly valid. So why does he decide to pick a person to create from column A instead of column B? Why not only make people who will choose to be godly?
                              There isn't much more I can say here that hasn't already been said above so I'll simply say the same: free choice.

                              Originally posted by nasor View Post
                              I realize that I was a bit repetitive and long-winded in my explanation of my question, but I felt it was necessary because I've tried to ask this to other christians and they invariably seem to get mixed up on the issue of free will, or mistakenly think that I'm asking why god doesn't force people to behave. I am NOT asking about why god doesn't take away our free will or force us to do things. I am asking why god chose to create Adam, who he knew would sin, instead of, say, Steve, who he knew wouldn't sin.
                              Because it is an issue of free will. I understand you believe sincerely that you aren't asking a question related to free will, but you are (you're violating the free will of the creature you choose not to create). It doesn't matter who God created in Eden; they would have sinned, if not sooner than later. I'll be unpopular for a minute; the Fall was necessary, as much as it hurts.

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