Did God really set up Adam and Eve for failure?

Atheists objection is that God set up Adam and Eve for failure and the most often comparison is that it is like leaving children in the room with knife or a gun, or anything similar.

Did God really set up Adam and Eve for failure?

Why did He do that if yes?

If not what exactly did He do?

Finally, how to defend against that objection?

Adam and Eve did not have to eat of the forbidden fruit. But, if they did, God still had a plan to redeem them.

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God gave us free will and thereby allowed us the possibility of failure. I guess God could have set us up for sure success by not giving us free will, but would that be much of a success?

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Greatest good. I have a theory that the potential of a thing, whether it’s an intellect, a living organism, or an airplane, is maximized when it is balanced on the boundary between high performance and disaster. Examples: The cells in a body need to multiply rapidly in order to grow or to heal, but uncontrolled multiplication leads to cancer. An airplane or a rocket is more maneuverable – it can turn faster – when it is designed to be on the verge of tumbling. Maybe too, a person can accomplish more and give greater glory to God when he or she can imagine anything and pursue it with passion.

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Of course not. God did know what will happen, but he didn’t force them to do it.

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In a way it was a setup, since free will is a necessary to confirm a person in charity, which enables one to experience the Beatific Vision in heaven.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1730 God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions. "God willed that man should be ‘left in the hand of his own counsel,’ so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him."26

Man is rational and therefore like God; he is created with free will and is master over his acts.27

26 Gaudium et spes 17; Sir 15:14.
27 St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 4,4,3: J.P. Migne, ed., Patroligia Greaca (Paris, 1867-1866) 7/1,983.

2 Timothy 2

3 Labour as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No man, being a soldier to God, entangleth himself with secular businesses; that he may please him to whom he hath engaged himself. 5 For he also that striveth for the mastery, is not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

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How can some people think that God our Father arranged things so that his first two children would fail?

To this question, however, I would add another: when atheists get the right answers to ten thousand of their theoretical questions, do they convert?

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You always have to watch for where people are front loading the question. Why are Adam and Eve compared to children? Yes, other than the specific matter of the fruit they did not know good from evil, but in every other way they were intelligent and rational adults. Calling them mental toddlers is assuming facts not in evidence.

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How about the angels who we agree have superior intellects? Did God set 1/3 of them up for failure? or is free will really free?

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There’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all. - Bob Dylan

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Moral choices have consequences and immoral choices have consequences.

Only Grace can relax the hold of this ruthless monster. And, if Grace is alive, no thoroughly alive, and kept more alive by the good will of a faithful son, it will succeed in strangling the monster, and will no longer have anything to fear. It will not be afraid of external tyrants, which are the flesh and passions; neither will it be afraid of external tyrants, these are the world and the mighty ones on the earth. It will dread neither persecutions nor death. It is as Paul the Apostle says: “I fear none of these things, neither do I care for my life more than I care for myself, provided I carry out the mission and the ministry the Lord Jesus gave me, and that was to bear witness the Good news of God’s Grace.”

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why did he put the tree if its better not to eat it anyway?

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why didnt He simply keep us in heaven without any temptation if He loves us so much?

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Good theory. In order to achieve greatest of the greatest good man has to strive to do “opposite” of what would cause greatest failure, or not good, or evil. Yes, makes sense.

Very nice, I enjoyed reading this. Who wrote it?

In the angels — different in nature and perfection from all of us — there is, as in us, free will. God has created no one a slave. In the beginning there was in creation only Order. But that Order does not exclude freedom. Rather in that Order is perfect freedom. To be exact, in such order there is not even the fear of an invasion, an intrusion, of the anarchy of other wills which could produce collusion, and ruin that penetrate into the orbit and trajectory of other beings or created things. Thus it was for the whole Universe, before Lucifer abused his own freedom, and with his own will, put into himself the disorder of passions, so as to create disorder in that perfect Order. Had he been all love, he would have had no place in himself for anything that was not love. Instead he had a place for arrogant pride which could be called: the disorder of the intellect.

Would God have been able to hinder this deed? Yes. But, why violate the free will of the most beautiful, most intelligent archangel? Would not He Himself, the Most Just, then have put disorder into His own ordered Thought, by no longer wanting what He had previously wanted: that is, the freedom of the archangel? God does not oppress a troubled spirit in order violently to place it in the impossibility of sinning. Lucifer’s not sinning would then have had no merit. Even for the angels it was necessary “to know how to want the Good” in order to continue to merit enjoying the vision of God, infinite Bliss!

As God had wanted this sublime archangel at His side in His first creative works, and wanted him to know about the future of His creation of love, so God wanted him to know the adorable and sorrowful necessity that his sin would have imposed on God: the Incarnation and Death of a God to counterbalance the ruin from the Sin that would have been created should Lucifer not have conquered pride in himself. Love could not but speak this language. God’s first annihilation is in this act of wanting to bend sweetly, gently, this proud [archangel]; and with the vision of what his pride would have imposed on God, almost imploring him not to sin, and thus bring others to sin. It was an act of love.

Lucifer, already become a Satan, took this act as fear, weakness and an insult, as a declaration of war. And, he stirred up war against the Most Perfect, saying:

"You are? I also am. Whatever You made, it was for me You made it. There is no God. And, if there is a God, I am [he]. I adore myself. I detest You. I refuse to recognize as my Lord One Who does not know how to conquer me. You should not have created me so perfect if You wanted no rivals. Now I am and I am against You. Conquer me, if You can. But, I do not fear You. I, too, will create; and because of me Your Creation will tremble, for I will shake it like a shred of cloud caught by the winds. For I hate You and I want to destroy whatever is Yours, to create upon its ruins that which will be mine. I neither know nor recognize any other power outside of myself. And, I no longer adore, no longer adore, NO LONGER ADORE any other than myself."

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Truly then in Creation, in all Creation, from the lowest [form] to the very depths, there was a horrendous convulsion from the horror of these sacrilegious words. A convulsion such as will not [again] be until the end of Creation. And, from it was born Hell: the kingdom of Hate.

Even God who created that place, tells us that when He descended into it to bring out of Limbo those who awaited His coming, He, God, experienced horror at the horror of Hell; and if something made by God were not immutable, on account of being perfect, He would have wanted to make it less atrocious, for He is Love, and He was pained by that horror.

Evil is a force that originated by itself like certain monstrous diseases in the most wholesome body. Lucifer was an angel, the most beautiful of all the angels, a perfect spirit, inferior only to God, and yet in his bright essence a vapor of pride arose, and using his free will, he chose to not scatter it. On the contrary, he condensed it by brooding over it, and evil was born of this incubation. It existed before man. God hurled him out of paradise, the cursed incubator of evil, who had desecrated paradise, but he is the eternal incubator of evil, and as he can no longer soil paradise, he has soiled the earth.

In summary, God did not create evil, it originated [by itself] in, was incubated by, and born from the will of one who was not “all love”: Lucifer, now Satan. And, even though evil exists now, it is not impossible to be good, and for Earth to be as it is Heaven, as it was for man in the beginning, until the first fell from Grace, of their own free will. Here evil existed before man, and after He created the first He forbade them from knowing it, yet despite everything, they still wanted to know, as it is to this day. Of course the Supreme Mind, that knows everything, before man even existed, knew that man would be a thief and self-murderer. In other words, He has always known that man would have committed against himself the crime of killing Grace in himself, and the theft of robbing himself of Heaven. And, as the Eternal Goodness has no limits in being good, before Guilt existed, He thought of the means to obliterate Guilt. The means: Jesus, the Word. The instrument to render the means an efficient instrument: Mary. And, the Virgin was created in the sublime mind of God.

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I agree!

Children in the sense of sons, not toddlers.

More: not having yet committed the original sin, Adam and Eve were lucid and dominated the passions more than us.

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The existence of the tree only symbolically represents the full breadth of their freedom, the freedom to even oppose and disobey the will of God, unlike the rest of creation with the exception of angels. And disobey they did. Anything outside of the will of God is ipso facto evil/sin. So the very first, or original, sin was simply that, disobedience of God’s will, eating of the fruit. From that point they, themselves, were now outside of God’s will, of His control, of His authority, having denied His authority, His godhood, over them. That’s how free they were; that’s how free God made man.

The perfection of man is to begin to use that freedom wisely, to end up doing the opposite of what Adam did, to draw nearer to God, having definitively learned of His existence first of all, and of His goodness, trustworthiness, wisdom, and love while becoming jaded with the futility and ugliness of sin/being outside of His will, to become bound to Him as the catechism teaches, to come to love Him with his whole heart, soul, mind and strength actually whereby subjugation and obedience flow naturally, of their own accord. This is a matter of the will, informed by experience (the experience of a life lived apart from God with all that means and entails) combined with grace, with God reaching down and filling in the rest of the details that we need but don’t have access to, to put it simply. We’re seeking the place that Basil of Caesarea described in the 4th century:

"If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves. If we pursue the enticement of wages, . . . we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for the sake of the good itself and out of love for him who commands . . . we are in the position of children."

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