Weblog of a Christian philosophy student

Weblog of a Christian philosophy student. Please feel free to comment. All of my posts are public domain. Subscribe to posts [Atom]. Email me at countaltair [at] yahoo.com.au. I also run a Chinese to English translation business at www.willfanyi.com.

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why didn't God only make people who would follow Him?

God knows everything, right? So God knew who would choose not to follow Him and therefore who would go to hell. So God could, clearly, have prevented a lot of suffering by simply not creating those people. But God didn't.

How does one respond to this issue?

What I would say is that if it was that easy for God to solve the problem, then God would do so, based on verses like these:

1 Tim 2:3-4: "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

Ezekiel 33:11: "Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'"

2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not slow in keeping his word, as he seems to some, but he is waiting in mercy for you, not desiring the destruction of any, but that all may be turned from their evil ways."

Matthew 23:37: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, putting to death the prophets, and stoning those who are sent to her! Again and again would I have taken your children to myself as a bird takes her young ones under her wings, and you would not!"

Turning to philosophy, what I might conjecture is that God can make us knowing everything we'll do, but not use that knowledge to make or not make certain people.

Creating a person could be a bit like flipping a coin that will come up 50/50 heads or tails. You can't make it go heads or tails. So just like I can't make a random coin toss always come up heads, God can't make people who will always choose a certain way.

However, unlike flipping the coin God *does* know everything about us before we are born. So in that respect what we have here is something very unlike flipping a coin. God knows but this knowledge is not 'actionable', God can't avoid making the people who will choose badly.

This is venturing further into speculation but it might be that once a soul exists God knows everything about it, including how it will choose in all possible situations. So once God guarantees that a soul will exist, God knows everything about it. However, without making the soul there is nothing can God know about it, because the knowing is based on that soul actually existing - not merely potentially existing. Because before it's created there is not a potential set of choices, there is actually no set of choices at all, because you need a real person to have a potential set of choices to look at, not a mere idea of a person.

(I found this answer interesting as well).

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Anonymous Bill said...

I wonder if the reason could be as simple as that since man fell from grace with the gift of knowledge and ability to tell right from wrong that we then also have the ability and responsibility to choose God?

Blogger Kimberlee Smith said...

We don't know what God has thinking. But I'm sure that there's a purpose for it. And it's our choice if we would follow Him.

Oakville Church


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