A real mind-bender of a question


#1

OK, so I understand the answer to the problem of evil (in as far as any of us can understand it) that God created us with free will, because free will is required to show genuine love, and the love we reciprocate with God is a greater good than all the harm done by sin, etc.

However, this begs the question, why didn’t God create love to be something different?

If for God all things are possible, why didn’t He create a highest good that didn’t require free will?

Or are we to take the statement in 1 John 5 that God is Love to mean that God’s unchangeable nature is love, so He didn’t have any choice in what love is, any more than we have a choice in what DNA is, it is simply a part of us, and even if we change the detail, we can’t change the basic nature of the thing itself?

Does this mean God is unable to change certain things about Himself?

For example, is it fair to assume that God couldn’t decide that the highest purpose of creation would be building beautiful sculptures, which a race of robots could do without free will, He had to choose love because it was already inside Him as the highest end, because it is inherent to His being.

Like I said, don’t think about this too long or your brain will melt :stuck_out_tongue:


#2

We were created in His image. What else separates us from the animals and fish that He created? Yes, love – self-donation, reciprocal love but also to have dominion over all of His creation. Without love, how can we be close to God? We are like God in that we are rational beings, capable of love and wisdom and the possession of free will. We are also like Him in the things that we do: we procreate and we make things beautiful and we bless and work and rest and exercise the dominion that I mentioned. God doesn’t need to change anything about Himself; He is perfect!

Why the need for free will? Why the need for love? **We were created in His image. **:thumbsup:


#3

God is immutable. He simply IS. Therefore, as He was a trillion years ago, He is today, as He will be a trillion years from now. God doesn’t “change His mind” or have “second thoughts”. God didn’t have to “choose” love because He is the eternal action of love. Since all of creation strives to be like unto its creator, we who are made in His image are compelled toward love as the highest purpose (since God is love). This is what separates us from other creatures, who do not have a rational soul that understands Who its creator is. Thus, the animal soul does not seek God and does not love, since it does not apprehend the Creator who is love.


#4

Your mistake is in saying “for God all things are possible” (yes, I know that’s straight from the bible). Not all things are possible even for God. For example, God cannot, at the same time, both create a thing and not create it. Likewise, He cannot create a creature in his image and likeness that does not have free will. And, presumably, any creature not created in his image and likeness would not be capable of loving and being loved in the way that God desires. So free will is a necessary component of the outcome that God desires, which is to create beings which can know and love him, and be known and loved by him.


#5

Im not sure about this, but Isn’t it true that we Adam and Eve had this Perfect love that did not require free will? And they lost that when they ate of the forbidden fruit? I think this is true, but I’m not sure so someone correct me if I’m wrong.


#6

Of course God can’t change himself! He is absolutely immutable because he has every perfection infinitely. He is completely uncaused, externally and internally because otherwise he wouldn’t be God.


#7

Adam and Eve always had free will, from the moment they were created, being (as has been pointed out) in God’s image and likeness. So did Satan himself, since God gives the angels free will as well.

They, like Satan himself, began by exercising that free will to freely love and serve God, then when tempted they exercised that free will to turn against him. What they DIDN’T have was the experiential knowledge of good and evil (enticing as evil can be) that they gained when they ate the fruit and that plagues us all in the forms of concupiscence and original sin.


#8

:thumbsup: The only thing I would add is that if you are interested in seeing why what VociMike states is correct, you may want to read some of the written debates about the problem of evil that Alvin Plantinga had with the likes of Mackie and Flew on this issue. He demonstrates why it is a contradiction to assert that God could have created us with free will and also could have created us such that we could not sin. He also shows that these atheists’ (Flew actually later became a deist) charge that this compromises God’s omnipotence is a misunderstanding of the theist’s understanding of omnipotence.


#9

#10

Aren’t we banging our head off a wall trying to comprehend the true nature of God? :banghead: I’ve often found myself being turned inside out trying to juggle questions like this.:juggle:

Shouldn’t we instead stick more with what we’re able to understand - the words of the Lord in John 14:6, and, with particular reference to the nature of love, of Paul in 1 Cor 13?


#11

You can be correct about spending a lot of time contemplating a mystery, but it is necessary to come up with the correct paradism of our beliefs. For example, God could be a “energy in the universe” or just a “power within” that some pop religions use in conjuction with New Age. We have to understand that our God is a personal God, who gives us an inheritance by gift and raises us to the status of sons and daughter in Him. No other “religion” claims this except Christianity that I am aware of.

mdcpensive1


#12

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