Predestination, Free-will, and Divine Justice

So I was reading some general discussion on the titled topic, and here are a few excerpts:

By adl (justice) they affirmed that man has free will, which is necessary "because of Divine justice." But as in Albert Camus and the Existentialists, "free will" can turn into fate through coincidence or factors out of one's control. Divine Justice also creates consequences for both man and God. The early Shiites believed that God created and determined men’s acts; present day Shi`ites, like present day Calvinists, believe in free will along with predestination (original Calvinists believed in absolute predestination)…

The Mutazilites also asserted that God does what is best (salah or aslah) for the world he has created; that God compensates the saved for sufferings they endured in life. What makes this idea of Divine justice scandalous, however, is that it means that what a man does obliges God; it puts God on an equal plane with man; if a man does a good act, God must react accordingly, if a man does an evil act God must react accordingly. What the Mutazilite Divine justice means, therefore, is reciprocity between man and God. This particular point drove al-Ashari, a rehabilitated Mu`tazilite who turned on the school, berserk. It made him affirm that God can punish the just if He wants and reward the guilty if He wants…

"*The Asharites claimed, not without reason, that Mutazilitism “made God into a servant of man,” because it made him respond to human acts and made God, as they put it, into “the impregnator of women.” The idea of salah became the point on which al-Ashari revolted against the Mutazilites, neatly showing its weakness.

By the third principle they meant heaven and hell but also gratification and retribution in life, just as Rockeller said. They believed that if someone went to hell, it was forever, he would not leave by reason of Divine Mercy or intercession. (Reciprocity, see above, limits God’s ability to act; the Asharites, on the contrary, believe that sins may be pardoned even in hell, or that a believer may be withdrawn from hell once his sins are "expiated.") Present day Shiites generally accept that a sinner can be saved from Hell— not because God is All-Powerful, but because, ironically, of the power of the Imams; THEY can change the course of the cosmic machine although they could not change their own erroneous course of action…*"

What is the Catholic positions on what is discussed, and best apologetics to understand the positions?

Thanks in advance and God bless.

No matter who says what: once conceived and ensouled you are irrevocably in God’s playground, of which he’s the ultimate master, and in God’s system, he gets to make the rules. Bottom-line: try your best and hope God is not as bad as some doom-and-gloom saints make him out to be, and just as merciful as those who have reasonable hope that hell is empty think he might be, Don’t sweat the rest. You’ll have eternity to ponder these things, while cursing God if you’re in hell, or praising him if you’r e in heaven. God could have condemned all of creation to hell following the Happy Fault, and at the Last Judgement your knee would have bent and you would have heard yourself speak these words: ‘‘The Eternal is perfect in all his ways, he is perfectly just, hallelujah!’’ The next second, in hell, you’d vociferate horrible curses against God, but not against Mary, because, apparently, in exorcisms, demons never curse the second Eve. So the Trinity would now be the sole object of your eternal hatred.

A selfless man who has spent his life serving God and others, crucifying and stifling his passions will be condemned to eternal hell if he misses Sunday mass once for a foolish reason and dies before he had the chance to repent and go to confession. Marc Dutroux, on the other hand, will just have to say, minutes before his death, ‘‘I’m so sorry’’ to a priest to go to heaven after a more or less lengthy purgation. God’s ways are so far above our ways as the heavens are above the earth. Do your best, hope for the best, the rest is time-consuming, futile blabber. Depending on your age, you’ll be either in hell or in heaven in 50-60 years. Whether you were predestined, favoured, not favoured, prayed for, not prayed for, you’ll be stuck forever '‘somewhere’ for eternity. How you got to either destination will not matter much at that point.

I’ve taken a look at your posts. This is the Apologetics of the forum. So please, do me a favour and keep your irrelevant, crisis of faith, posts off of MY thread.


The Catholic Church’s view of predestination can be “spruced up” by some theories once formulated by Catholic theologians. A common Catholic view of free will and predestination is Molinism (after a 16th century Spanish Jesuit theologian named Luis de Molina). Molinism can get pretty complex, so I found this synopsis of it:

In basic terms, Molinists hold that in addition to knowing everything that does or will happen, God also knows what His creatures would freely choose if placed in any circumstance.

A Catholic Answers apologist replied to a post on predestination and said:

The Church does believe in predestination, insofar as it is understood to mean that God knows who will choose to cooperate with his grace and be saved and who will choose to reject him and not be saved. The Church does not believe that God predestines anyone to go to hell. All are created for heaven but some will choose of their own free will to reject heaven. (source)

The Catechism also comments on the nature of predestination:

To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness. (CCC 600)

This is a Catholic blog source that might help you:

Some heavy duty reading from the Catholic Encyclopedia:


Free Will…


A hypothetical question, what would be the fate of these three brothers, all baptised:

One dies in the state of grace.
One dies as an apostate.
One dies as an infant (include all the whys you can think of for this one).

Being all knowing, God knows before the creation of the world, what each person who will ever live, i.e. ever be conceived, born or not born, will choose or would have chosen had they been born. Therefore He knows in advance everyone’s fate. That doesn’t mean He takes anyone’s free will from them.

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