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God and Free Choice
#11
(07-27-2020, 02:43 AM)Jason wrote: It's a good line of questioning, George. You should pursue it further. Smile

(07-29-2020, 02:07 PM)Jason wrote: If God exists beyond time; if God knows all things that may possibly be known; if God knows tomorrow as if it were yesterday; if God desires goodness in the world and would like to prevent suffering; given these assumptions, I would think it would make sense that God would either disallow the birth of grievous violators of human rights or prevent such violations from occurring (place limitations upon the "free will" of man).

If God prevented people who sinned willingly, no one would be born.

And, some people who sin willingly also do good, so preventing their birth would eliminate the good they would do.

And, preventing their birth would not allow repentance.  People do change and learn from their mistakes.
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#12
I didn't say "prevent people from sinning willingly." No. I said specifically that he would place limitations on man's "free will" or how it affects someone else.

Let's take it this way: God doesn't have to take away the freedom to eat bacon in violation of the Torah. He doesn't have to take away the freedom to steal someone's purse or telephone. He doesn't have to take away the freedom to defraud you neighbor financially.

However, can he not limit man's freedom to the point that rape and torture is beyond man's potential? Does man have to be free to the point that he can lock someone in a basement, pull out his fingernails one at a time, chain him to a wall, maul his genitalia, cut chunks from his flesh to boil and eat, etc.?? Does man need to have THAT level of freedom in order to be declared good or evil?

This is a huge problem for me. A huge problem. And saying "free will" doesn't overcome this level of evil.
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#13
(07-27-2020, 02:43 AM)Jason wrote: It's a good line of questioning, George. You should pursue it further. Smile

(07-29-2020, 08:51 PM)Jason wrote: I didn't say "prevent people from sinning willingly." No. I said specifically that he would place limitations on man's "free will" or how it affects someone else.

Let's take it this way: God doesn't have to take away the freedom to eat bacon in violation of the Torah. He doesn't have to take away the freedom to steal someone's purse or telephone. He doesn't have to take away the freedom to defraud you neighbor financially.

However, can he not limit man's freedom to the point that rape and torture is beyond man's potential? Does man have to be free to the point that he can lock someone in a basement, pull out his fingernails one at a time, chain him to a wall, maul his genitalia, cut chunks from his flesh to boil and eat, etc.?? Does man need to have THAT level of freedom in order to be declared good or evil?

This is a huge problem for me. A huge problem. And saying "free will" doesn't overcome this level of evil.

I didn't know this was a huge problem for you.

Doesn't it boil down to we know what is wrong without God telling us what is wrong.

Doesn't this amount to loving your neighbor as yourself?

Don't do anything to anyone else that you wouldn't want done to you?
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#14
I have felt more inclined to believe that God's role in our lives was to give direction and purpose, meaning on a personal level, in a world that is filled with violence.  I've never seen him as a protector from harm or evil, but a light or strength to carry us when things go wrong and they inevitably will at some point in our lives.
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#15
Great post Dana!
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#16
(07-27-2020, 02:43 AM)Jason wrote: It's a good line of questioning, George. You should pursue it further. Smile

(07-30-2020, 01:30 AM)Dana wrote: I have felt more inclined to believe that God's role in our lives was to give direction and purpose, meaning on a personal level, in a world that is filled with violence.  I've never seen him as a protector from harm or evil, but a light or strength to carry us when things go wrong and they inevitably will at some point in our lives.

Why did God give us a choice between good and evil?
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#17
(08-01-2020, 01:11 PM)George wrote:
(07-30-2020, 01:30 AM)Dana wrote: I have felt more inclined to believe that God's role in our lives was to give direction and purpose, meaning on a personal level, in a world that is filled with violence.  I've never seen him as a protector from harm or evil, but a light or strength to carry us when things go wrong and they inevitably will at some point in our lives.

Why did God give us a choice between good and evil?

Not sure why you would ask me directly about your assertion that God had even given us a choice between good and evil?   In my post I wrote of what I would view as God's role in our lives, that of direction and purpose. Beyond that, within Judaism, there may be more than one way of seeing it.
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#18
(07-26-2020, 09:21 PM)George wrote: The Bible says God created everything good.

But God gave us free choice.

If God hadn't given us free choice, everyone would be good.

So, what was the purpose of God giving us free will -- to choose good over evil?
God is all-knowing and all-wisdom. Isaiah 40:12-15 and 28.
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