The timing of our deaths


#1

Listening to an archived episode of Catholic Answer Live, I wondered about the answer to a caller’s question, “Does God decide the moment of our deaths?” The apologist’s answer was yes.

I don’t have a problem with that. However, it did stir me to some difficult questions.

If this is the case, how does one answer someone who asks, by extension, if this means that God planned, or predestined, for the several millions abortions to happen. Or the question as to why we should bother visiting a doctor or exercising if our deaths are predestined. I actually have an answer for the second question (and possibly the first), but want to see what others might say.

Just to clarify, I am not writing about God “foreseeing” our deaths, but actually predetermining them.


#2

[quote=awfulthings9]Listening to an archived episode of Catholic Answer Live, I wondered about the answer to a caller’s question, “Does God decide the moment of our deaths?” The apologist’s answer was yes.

I don’t have a problem with that. However, it did stir me to some difficult questions.

If this is the case, how does one answer someone who asks, by extension, if this means that God planned, or predestined, for the several millions abortions to happen. Or the question as to why we should bother visiting a doctor or exercising if our deaths are predestined. I actually have an answer for the second question (and possibly the first), but want to see what others might say.

Just to clarify, I am not writing about God “foreseeing” our deaths, but actually predetermining them.
[/quote]

I am reading a book by Eddie Russell, a Catholic Evangelist, in which he describes how he raised someone (a nun) from the dead after a massive heart attack. I’m not going in to that, but afterwards, during the following week he said God revealed to him that this was not the sister’s appointed time to die. The appointed time was many years away.

So this indicated that God does decide a time for us to die, but it is not necessarily when we do die. We might die before that time for various reasons. And I would assume that abortion is one of them, and perhaps miscarriages too.

I don’t know of any theology on this though and I will be interested to see other comments.


#3

Now…this is nothing that I have been taught…just my own thoughts when musing over this subject…I could be horribly off base and wrong…and if so, PLEASE…someone tell me. I am here to learn after all!

Let’s say that a man, we’ll name him Bubba, at 45 years old dies from a heart attack. He is overweight and he smokes and he is a truck driver…it was bound to happen and God knew the day of his death, as we know he does.
Bubba had a rough life…but did nothing to change his life…he kinda road the wave.

Now lets say that Bubba made different decisions about his life…different from the ones that led him to heart failure at 45…and his name is Robert (he never really liked the nickname Bubba, the first choice that changed his life)…so here we go…

Bubba dropped out of school at fifteen…began to smoke and drink…drifted from job to job…finally became a trucker…never thinking about change, but unhappy all the same about his life.

Robert, on the other hand…stayed in school although he felt the strong desire to quit…went on to…let’s say a Technical College…and became an electrician, and worked for a company that somewhat monitered his health (insurance is so high it is worth the effort to hire a health nurse)…further educating him. He quit smoking…cut back on drinking and found through the health nurse that Cholesterol was high…put on meds. Robert dies at 68 of heart failure…sorry…so much of that is genetic. God knows the day of his death…as we all know He does.

There are infinite possibilities…through the choices that we make in our Lives…Bubba/Robert could die a hundred different deaths depending on which decision he makes…and God is infinately aware…and has knowledge of how and when we are to die depending on each scenario…

Does that make any sense? Whadda ya think?


#4

There are infinite possibilities…through the choices that we make in our Lives…Bubba/Robert could die a hundred different deaths depending on which decision he makes…and God is infinately aware…and has knowledge of how and when we are to die depending on each scenario…

Does that make any sense? Whadda ya think?

I think we are dealing with a paradox here. I’ll try to explain what I mean.

For example, when an airplane crashes in which some people survive and others don’t, was it just by accident that certain people were in survivable areas of the plane or got out in time, etc.? Or, was it God’s will that they be where they were at that particular time and place? Many people who have survived catastrophic events such as this have said, “I guess it just wasn’t my time to go.”

OTOH, we have Lilith’s scenario of Bubba/Robert which is just as valid a way of looking at the timing of our deaths because we are free to make decisions that will impact our lives.

So, I’d have to say it’s “both and” not “either or” and leave the working out of the details to theologians.

Ow! My poor head! :smiley:


#5

[quote=Della]I think we are dealing with a paradox here. I’ll try to explain what I mean.

For example, when an airplane crashes in which some people survive and others don’t, was it just by accident that certain people were in survivable areas of the plane or got out in time, etc.? Or, was it God’s will that they be where they were at that particular time and place? Many people who have survived catastrophic events such as this have said, “I guess it just wasn’t my time to go.”

OTOH, we have Lilith’s scenario of Bubba/Robert which is just as valid a way of looking at the timing of our deaths because we are free to make decisions that will impact our lives.

So, I’d have to say it’s “both and” not “either or” and leave the working out of the details to theologians.

Ow! My poor head! :smiley:
[/quote]

Yes…it does cause quite the headache doesn’t it…More about Bubba/Robert…

Bubba got on the airplane…looking for a cute Lady to sit by because He was divorced a couple years back due to the fact that he was never at home…always out truckin’

Robert got on the airplane…Not really caring where he sat, but aware of the exits because he actually listened to the stewardess…he is still married because he and his wife went to a retrouville and decided to tough it out :smiley:


#6

[quote=Lillith]Yes…it does cause quite the headache doesn’t it…More about Bubba/Robert…

Bubba got on the airplane…looking for a cute Lady to sit by because He was divorced a couple years back due to the fact that he was never at home…always out truckin’

Robert got on the airplane…Not really caring where he sat, but aware of the exits because he actually listened to the stewardess…he is still married because he and his wife went to a retrouville and decided to tough it out :smiley:
[/quote]

I understand your scenarios here, but now days people are assigned seats on airplanes, so there goes either Bubba or Robert’s free will in the equation. But, on a bus or a train it certainly would be up to either incarnation of this person to chose his seat and so his fate. (Sorry for being nitpicky. :love: )

Frankly, I’ll let theologians wrangle all they want about the question. In the end only God really knows how he determines the time of anyone’s death. Maybe I’m being too simplistic, but it works for me! :tiphat:


#7

[quote=Lillith]It was bound to happen and God knew the day of his death, as we know he does.
[/quote]

Hey Lillith,
I have no problem with your explanation. Just wanted to clarify, though, that what you propose would be an example of God’s foreknowledge. What you said is fine with regards to that. What I’m actually interested in hearing is from those who say, not just that God “knows” when our choices will lead to our deaths, but that God “plans” when we will die. The difference between something of a Molinist “foreknowledge” and a Thomist “predetermination”. For those people, please take this explanation and use it to respond to my first post.


#8

[quote=awfulthings9]Hey Lillith,
I have no problem with your explanation. Just wanted to clarify, though, that what you propose would be an example of God’s foreknowledge. What you said is fine with regards to that. What I’m actually interested in hearing is from those who say, not just that God “knows” when our choices will lead to our deaths, but that God “plans” when we will die. The difference between something of a Molinist “foreknowledge” and a Thomist “predetermination”. For those people, please take this explanation and use it to respond to my first post.
[/quote]

He knows when we will die but I don’t believe he determines when we die.


#9

[quote=Della]I understand your scenarios here, but now days people are assigned seats on airplanes, so there goes either Bubba or Robert’s free will in the equation. But, on a bus or a train it certainly would be up to either incarnation of this person to chose his seat and so his fate. (Sorry for being nitpicky. :love: )

Frankly, I’ll let theologians wrangle all they want about the question. In the end only God really knows how he determines the time of anyone’s death. Maybe I’m being too simplistic, but it works for me! :tiphat:
[/quote]

Della…forgive me my lunacy…This is exactly the type of thinking that I get into…I’m one of those strange daydream head in the clouds Kinds of people. I love thinking abstractly! I don’t think you are nit picky at all…I know I’m not normal…but not to worry…I enjoy it just the same.

Robert, because he has access to more money…flew first class. Or Robert choses second class…saving to buy an anniversary present for the wife that he was able to keep.

Bubba…has less money and has to go second class…

Or…they both fly Southwest, where you are seated first come first serve…Robert got an A pass because his wife actually called it in for him while he was at work…

Bubba…was on the road and didn’t get his ticket until much latter and ended up with a C pass…

All in fun…


#10

[quote=awfulthings9]Hey Lillith,
I have no problem with your explanation. Just wanted to clarify, though, that what you propose would be an example of God’s foreknowledge. What you said is fine with regards to that. What I’m actually interested in hearing is from those who say, not just that God “knows” when our choices will lead to our deaths, but that God “plans” when we will die. The difference between something of a Molinist “foreknowledge” and a Thomist “predetermination”. For those people, please take this explanation and use it to respond to my first post.
[/quote]

Opps…I hope my musings didn’t derail your thread!


#11

Proverbs 9: ( KJV )
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
11 For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

Deuteronomy 4:40 (KJV)
40 Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.

Deuteronomy 5:33 (KJV)
33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

there are lots of verses saying we can ‘prolong’ our days…
this being said, God already knows what decisions we will
make… but, He doesn’t force us to make those decisions…

He knows, not because he had ‘prewritten’ what we will do, but because He has seen what we will do, because he is everywhere,
everywhen…

or, that’s my opinion on it…

:slight_smile:


#12

God Knows, and if its the time, He’ll take you… Satan on the other hand, should be accounted for all of the other premature deaths. both in the choices people make in their lives (bubba), and in the ‘**** happens’ scenarios… or look at drunk driving deaths, or murder, smoking, gangs… the list goes on and on. as much as we may be giving satan too much credit in some areas, i dont think we give him enough in lots of areas… and as for the miracle of raising the dead, if it was Gods planned time, you wont be able to do anything but if Satan took them, then by Gods mercy and grace, you may be able to rescue that soul in the name of our Lord Jesus. Just a thought;)


#13

Murder is not from God. It is evil taking a life.

Suicide is not from God.

Making choices that knowingly damage our health and lead to premature death are not from God.

There is a time chosen by God wherein you will be called home.

Our free will can of course interfere with that.


#14

This is a good post. :thumbsup:

Murder is not from God, so when a child is aborted that is the same as saying murdered.

Suicide is not from God, lets say a man wanted to jump off a cliff to kill himself. God knew when that man was going to die, how he was going to die, infact it was God that decided it was time to call the man to justice. However God didnt force that man to jump, the man had influence on the situation.

I think Fergal said it best so far.


#15

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