A Question For Theists


#1

Why would god create Adam and Eve, with the full knowledge of what they would do (eat an apple and bring sin into the world), and then act surprised and angry when they do what he (god) created them to do? Please don’t bring free-will into the discussion because Adam and Eve only did what god knew with 100% certainty they would do. If god didn’t know they would do this, then he (obviously) isn’t all knowing. If he knew and did nothing, he sounds very cruel and uncaring indeed. It’s as if he set us up for failure.

If I know (as god must have known) with 100% certainty that my wife and I will give birth to two children that would be responsible for bringing sin upon the entire human race, we would either terminate the pregnancy or never engage in sexual activity in the first place. Wouldn’t this effectively make us more moral and more loving than god? Of course I’m sure the Catholic church would shun us for terminating the pregnancy in the first place, no matter how much good it would bring to the human species…:thumbsup:


#2

What a farce. you pose a question and then put limits on how we can respond. Sorry -I wont bite.


#3

Foreknowledge of an event does not imply that one is able to prevent that event from occurring.

And before you ask: No, that idea does not make God any less omnipotent, since the set of powers that God could have is restricted by God’s nature.

Going any further than that will require that free will be brought into the discussion, so I’ll stop here, except to add that if you think about it, this should also answer the second part of your question.


#4

Of course God knew what they would do. Which is why he knew from before the world began that he would bring about a greater good in the form of his Incarnate Son, Savior of the World. In the ancient words of the Church at Easter, O felix culpa - O happy fault!

Unlike your solution, God thought out of the box. :slight_smile:


#5

maybe they were created for another reason

Please don’t bring free-will into the discussion because Adam and Eve only did what god knew with 100% certainty they would do. If god didn’t know they would do this, then he (obviously) isn’t all knowing. If he knew and did nothing, he sounds very cruel and uncaring indeed. It’s as if he set us up for failure.

so you do not want the real answer ? (correct?)

If I know (as god must have known) with 100% certainty that my wife and I will give birth to two children that would be responsible for bringing sin upon the entire human race, we would either terminate the pregnancy or never engage in sexual activity in the first place. Wouldn’t this effectively make us more moral and more loving than god?

So will you and your wife bring children of a fallen nature in to this world?

Of course I’m sure the Catholic church would shun us for terminating the pregnancy in the first place, no matter how much good it would bring to the human species…:thumbsup:

Interesting no? The church would not shun you, the church will not support your choice, 'um kind of like God did not shun Adam and Eve while not supporting their action


#6

Becuase if He did not create man, all God would have is the Angels, and as much as I love them and they love God, a robot sayin “I love you” doesnt mean much to me. But when a person making a personal choice says it, it has an effect on me.

And the fall of man never condemned people to hell. Man’s choice did that

To make a really oversimplified comparison, have you ever seen Minority Report? or read a Choose Your Own Adventure book?
its like that, God knows all the possibilities, knows how all of them turn out, and knows which one He wants us to take. but we still get to choose.


#7

A great many philosophical ethicists see the secular doctrines of Determinism (“I could not act otherwise”) and Free Will (“I am morally responsible for my actions”) as being perfectly compatible and complementary: a position called Compatibilism. Through similar modes of reasoning (albeit more complex), a great many theologians and philosophers of religion see Predestination and Free Will as being perfectly compatible and complementary dogmas: a kind of theological compatibilism.

I suggest reading about it; it is a fascinating subject, and I, for one, find many of the arguments for both types of compatibilism to be ultimately compelling. That said, the reconciliation of Determinism/Predestination and Free Will can be quite difficult to wrap one’s head around. I struggled with it for a long time – and rejected its very possibility – before I finally “got it.”


#8

You’re right, God created Adam and Eve with full knowledge of what they would do.

But as somebody beautifully put it above, He did not do nothing. He took flesh, became man, gave us the full revelation of Himself (Who is Love) in Jesus and then died in reparation not only for Adam and Eve’s sin, but also mine and yours, in order to show forth His Glory and Love for us, and to ultimately save us.

Have you ever considered that it is very likely that not only specifically Adam and Eve would have fallen, but that any first set of parents would have sinned?
God loved us so much that He did not choose to just “not create” us, but he chose to create us, then discipline us, then save us.

Imperfect but effective analogy to earthly parents: if a couple knew ahead of time that their first child would die at birth, but that their 10 consequent children would live a long life, with the exception of one or 2 more in between, even though all of these would hurt themselves, make bad choices and fall while maturing, these parents would still want to have this family, trusting that, at least most of them would finally get past their adolescence, remember the education they received and grow into wise happy adults.

Please don’t bring free-will into the discussion because Adam and Eve only did what god knew with 100% certainty they would do.

You are mixing the 2 possible definitions / understandings of predestination here.

From some Protestant points of view: predestination = predetermination, i.e. God not only knows everything ahead of time, He also commands “everything” into being, so that everything that ever takes place was thus previously determined by God.
From the Catholic perspective: predestination = prescience + ordination of events influenced by man’s free-will.

You see, the first one, as you presumed, does clash with free-will.
However, in reality, God did not “make” Adam and Eve do what they did, even though He knew they would do it. It was their free-will indeed.

He can see past the apparent “unknown” factor introduced by our choices, and the fact that He can do that just shows how much more powerful He is than you would expect a good human-level forecaster to be. :wink:

Please take a peek at these 2 links for further reading on the subject:

“We ought to understand that while God knows all things beforehand, yet He does not predetermine all things . For He knows beforehand those things that are in our power, but He does not predetermine them. For it is not His will that there should be wickedness nor does He choose to compel virtue. So that predetermination is the work of the divine command based on fore-knowledge . But on the other hand God predetermines those things which are not within our power in accordance with His prescience. For already God in His prescience has prejudged all things in accordance with His goodness and justice.” (St. John of Damascus)
newadvent.org/fathers/33042.htm (scroll down to “Chapter 30. Concerning Prescience and Predestination.”)

"Predestination (Latin præ, destinare), taken in its widest meaning, is every Divine decree by which God, owing to His infallible prescience of the future, has appointed and ordained from eternity all events occurring in time, especially those which directly proceed from, or at least are influenced by, man’s free will. It includes all historical facts, as for instance the appearance of Napoleon or the foundation of the United States, and particularly the turning-points in the history of supernatural salvation, as the mission of Moses and the Prophets, or the election of Mary to the Divine Motherhood."
newadvent.org/cathen/12378a.htm


#9

#10

I like to look at it more simply. He created us to share His goodness with us, for our everlasting gain. He gave us freewill because He is a good God. If we do not have free will, then all suffering is chosen by Him and we can not avoid it and then that would make God evil, like someone torturing mice in a cage with no way to escape. He also gave us freewill so we can choose to try and cooperate with Him and try to do good and therefore merit,(after the initial undeserved grace of simple faith) to some extent the reward of heaven, if we are sorry enough for our sins of commission and omission and especially for not seeking for a long time, the whole truth, honestly.


#11

Not too mention, what happened after God created us.

Genesis 1:31
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good

From the beginning we were created good, just becuase we do bad things, doesnt make us bad. We, as a creation of God, are intrinsically good, and God knew that when he created us. He knew we would do bad, but also that we would be good.


#12

My questions for non-theists are:
1 Do you believe there are some actions that are absolutely, objectively, morally evil and wrong, (such as someone killing millions of innocent people just for the fun of it)?
1a Do you believe there are some actions that are absolutely, objectively, morally right and good and should be done (like a parent trying to help their child to learn to care about other people)?
2. What could creat this absolute, objective, moral law except an All-knowing, All-powerful, All-loving, infinitely good Creator God who created space and time (along with everything in them) and who must be changeless? Hint: If the originator of this “law” is not all of the above; how could the “law” be absolute and objective, all that would be is someone bigger imposing their subjective point of view on someone smaller, and then there would not be any action that was absolutely, objectively wrong and evil, or right and good.


#13

You must not have children.

If you did, you would see the clear answer to the question:

Children must have boundaries, and when they transgress them, there must be consequences. We know our children will transgress these boundaries, yet we also know we must put them in place, and we must enforce them.

We have free will, and that will is bent toward evil when unconstrained. Our concupiscence is a product of the original act of disobedience. Adam and Eve did not have an inborn bent toward sin but rather freely chose it, which is what makes The Fall tragic.


#14

I don’t think he’s really asking why they were punished, but rather, why was God surprised and angry - God knows what will happen so why act surprised when it does. Its akin to asking why would I be surprised if I hit the power button on my computer and it turned on.


#15

The analogy is the same—I may not be surprised on an intellectual level that my son broke curfew; I may even guess the very night. You can bet I’d be angry, and that punishment would swiftly ensue.

But you tell me how God sounds. Genesis 3:

1: Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2: And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7: And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8: And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9: And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, **Where art thou? **
10: And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11: And he said, **Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? **
12: And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13: And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14: And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. **
16: Unto the woman he said,
I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. **
17: And unto Adam he said, **Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18: Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. **
20: And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
21: Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
22: And the LORD God said, **Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: **23: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24: So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Now as I read it, God’s anger is plain. Surprise? I simply don’t see it. “Where art thou?” is hardly an indication of surprise.


#16

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.