God: A Failed Parent?

I was reading in the newspapers about some juvenile delinquents and I started thinking about who bears the blame for the flaws in their character. To be sure, we cannot absolve people of blame simply because of poor parenting, but when young people misbehave, we inevitably think about what a poor job their parents have done in leading them, in acting as a good role model, and guiding them. The good or bad behavior of a person reflects on their parents, and for good reason. It is from your parents that you get your social cues, where your virtues are instilled, where you learn discipline. Because human parents are mortal and fallible, failed parenting is understandable.

But what does this say about God?

God was Adam’s parent. While not biologically related, God created Adam, and apparently had a personal relationship with Adam as his creator. God would have taught Adam everything he knew, since there were no other people around from which to learn. So when Adam disobeyed God, was God blameless? When a human parent raises an unruly child, do the parents not share in the blame for raising such a brat? And God does not share the same excuse some parents have in having biologically or psychologically damaged children - God had full control over Adam’s biological and psychological predisposition.

And don’t run to the Free Will excuse. A parent does not need to use mind control to raise a good child. Yes, Adam used his free will to disobey God, but why was Adam’s character such that he thought it a good idea to disobey God? How do you account for Adam’s character failures when he had God as a parent and creator?


**And don’t run to the Free Will excuse. A parent does not need to use mind control to raise a good child. Yes, Adam used his free will to disobey God, but why was Adam’s character such that he thought it a good idea to disobey God? How do you account for Adam’s character failures when he had God as a parent and creator? **

Free Will is not an excuse. It is a fact of our human nature. God made us free to obey or disobey. Atheists disobey by denying the God who made them. Sin comes from ingratitude to the parents, who cannot control every act of the child or the will of the child without the child becoming a robot. There are many children who behave badly. But there are many who behave nobly. Those who behave nobly have listened to the parents and obeyed. God is the parent we should all listen to, but if we do not behave ourselves, we should not be blaming him for being a poor parent. We should blame ourselves for being poor children.

Where are you getting the idea it was only God who was teaching Adam? Have you forgotten about Eve and the Serpent?

Not true, actually. God wills His animals, and they are not robots.

Man has intellect, and in his intellect is a mental image of himself we call the ego. It is the source of all our trouble.

Only somebody who doesn’t have children could have written this.



Incapable of failure or mistake.

Being free to disobey does not explain why Adam disobeyed. The fact that he disobeyed is a reflection of his character. His character is a reflection on God.

God’s failures as a leader don’'t end with Adam, however. The Old Testament recounts God’s frustrated attempts at getting the Israelites to follow Him. However, He frequently finds Himself being out-competed by non-existent gods. How bad of a leader would you have to be to have those you want to follow you abandon you for someone who doesn’t even exist? The God of the Old Testament seems to be utterly incompetent as a leader.

Thank you for pointing this out to us. We’ll all go eat some worms now.

So you are saying that great parents who did everything right who raise a kid who end up being very unruly failed their job? And it’s “an excuse” to say the child has free will? Parenting is an influence, but people can still choose what they turn into as they grow older.

It’s odd to me how you seem to be viewing each individual person as a robot who just becomes a person based on what values their parents instill onto them.

This, or someone who is being in some way ignorant of his own childhood (or anyone who has beaten the odds despite having a harsh childhood or vice versa).

With God creating Adam (and Eve’s) biological and psychological predisposition, as well as providing supposedly perfect leadership, guidance, and moral teaching, I don’t see what could have gone wrong.

This might apply for Satan as well, although the background for him is less understood.

Kids. Juveniles. Children. Breaking the law. (Presume thats why they made the news.)
Sounds like they need punishment for deliberate disobedience of the law.
God DOES punish sinners. :thumbsup:
Problem solved.

When young people deliberately break the laws - laws which everyone else willingly obeys - then punishment awaits.
It’s pretty simple. Obey the law = happy. Disobey the law = punishment.
Why does God punish criminals (sinners)? Because if He didnt, then He would stand accused of being a bad parent. The other children would ask, how come rotten Johnny gets to smash our windows and steal our stuff and never gets punished?

I think you are equivocating on the meaning of the word “good”.
Free choice is not a character failure. Disbelieving God’s Word was a free choice.

Children are given a rule to brush their teeth. They are told why that rule exists. Loving parents warn their children that the consequences of failure to obey the rule (sin) is tooth decay.
Yes, the parents could theoretically hold the child down and pry open their mouth to brush the teeth every day until the child turns 21, but the idea is that the child
should brush THEIR OWN TEETH in their own enlightened self-interest.

As long as one has free will, one will be able to choose to do wrong by being disobedient, such as in the case with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve had intellect combined with free will; he was able to decide whether or not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of which God informed of them not to eat.

If God did not permit this choice of disobedience, how could His people be worshipping him to the fullest without also being able to be disobedient? One does not praise the inanimate object for doing its job (as in the case of the automated robot, for instance) but instead it’s creator; therefore, if people do not have free will, they are being forced to worship and be obedient to God, but with free will they are doing an action of their own accord: something worthy of praising God’s glory. This is God’s intention.

No. Adam sinned from a state of innocence. There was no malice in him.

Where in the Old Testament is God the leader? There is Moses, David, the Prophets, the Kings, but never God, until the New Testament. Are you saying Jesus is not a good King?

Where are you getting your fanciful information about God? Can you point me to where it says in Scripture that God leads, guides, and morally instructs Adam and Eve? All I find is, “Eat of any tree you like, except this one in the middle; do not eat of it or touch it, lest you die.” There was literally nothing else forbidden to them — just the one tree. What other moral instruction do you find in the Eden account?

Free will is not an excuse but a fact. I think that God gives us free will and allows us to keep it because God wants us to love him because we in fact actually love God, not because we’re little puppets whose strings he tugs to make us all feel a certain way. Even if we are willing to love God, I am sure that God could force us to love him far more than we are actually capable of doing so but does not for the same exact reason in that our free will is something that God values.

Love that is not free is a contradiction in terms. God’s animals are neither puppets nor robots, nonetheless God wills His animals directly. Human beings, on the other hand, while on earth, He gives free will, and in our fallen state we also have concupiscence. Therefore we have to struggle to do good, and overcome ourselves. And if we do so for the sake of Love, there is a very great reward. The reward of Love is More Love.

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