"We Should Have Only Been Allowed Good Choices"


#1

Hi,

I have another question that came up while talking to my athiest relative. Some of you may remember the discussion we had about Moses just being a “smart guy” on this thread:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=50660&highlight=moses+smart

During our latest discussion, we again discussed good and evil. I again tried to point out free will as the reason why people sometimes choose evil. He said that if there really was a God, he would have made us so we would only make good choices (choices that fit with God’s Commandments), not bad. In other words, God would have created us from the start designed to only make choices that follow His Commandments.

I had no answer for that. Can anyone help?

Thanks.


#2

=AuntMartha]Hi,

I have another question that came up while talking to my athiest relative. Some of you may remember the discussion we had about Moses just being a “smart guy” on this thread:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=50660&highlight=moses+smart

During our latest discussion, we again discussed good and evil. I again tried to point out free will as the reason why people sometimes choose evil.

He said that if there really was a God, he would have made us so we would only make good choices

sorry, i see no choice here!

(choices that fit with God’s Commandments), not bad. In other words,

God would have created us from the start designed to only make choices that follow His Commandments.

again, i see no choice here…

I had no answer for that. Can anyone help?

Thanks

…their very premise contradicts itself, “made us”… no free will here, no choice here… that’s the whole point unless i have missed it here altogether…

…we are more than an object like a tree or a rainbow… be have been endowed with an immortal spirit, and God gave us the joy stick… we can choose the direction we wish to travel…

am i missing the point here?

probably am…


#3

I always figured it as a game to Him. He wants to see how many will chose to follow His way, as opposed to us being forced into.


#4

Then there is no choice, right? If there were no choices, with any kind of penalty or reward, what would be the motivation to make any choice at all?

God could have made us robots where we are programmed to choose Him, but that’s not love. God is love and He created us because He loves us. He wants us to love Him too. I want my husband to love me because he chooses to love me not because he is programmed to or has to because he’s my husband. The love that is chosen is more meaningful. Maybe atheists daon’t understand the nature of love?


#5

[quote=cantrell]I always figured it as a game to Him. He wants to see how many will chose to follow His way, as opposed to us being forced into.
[/quote]

Not a game. He is teaching us the meaning of love.


#6

Atheist Logic: It’s God’s fault for placing the Forbidden Tree in the Garden of Eden. If the tree had never been there, Eve would not have been tempted by Satan. We would all be living in paradise right now if only God had not put that tree there!


#7

Hello AuntMartha,

One cannot love without the option to choose not to love. Through out scripture Jesus and the Father clearly point out that obedience to the will of God is love for God. In giving Adam free will and the options to obey or disobey, God gave man the tremendous opportunity to love God. The only thing in existance worth allowing hatred, sin and damnation for is Love.

Please visit www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com for many scriptural quotes explaining obedience to God as being love for God.

NIV 1JO 5:3

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.

NIV JOH 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

NAB JOH 15:22

“If I had not come to them and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; now, however, their sin cannot be excused. To hate me is to hate my Father. Had I not performed such works among them as no one has ever done before, they would not be guilty of sin; but as it is, they have seen, and they go on hating me and my Father.”

NAB DEU 5:9

“. . . you shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishments for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation but bestowing mercy, down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

NAB DEU 30:15 The Choice before Israel.

Here then, I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom. If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.”


#8

[quote=AuntMartha]Hi,

I have another question that came up while talking to my athiest relative. Some of you may remember the discussion we had about Moses just being a “smart guy” on this thread:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=50660&highlight=moses+smart

During our latest discussion, we again discussed good and evil. I again tried to point out free will as the reason why people sometimes choose evil. He said that if there really was a God, he would have made us so we would only make good choices (choices that fit with God’s Commandments), not bad. In other words, God would have created us from the start designed to only make choices that follow His Commandments.

I had no answer for that. Can anyone help?

Thanks.
[/quote]

A “bad choice” is a choice of good things in a wrong way.

Not of bad things. This does not mean that pride is good, or that cruelty is good; but that both are perverted forms of love - pride is a perverted form of love of self; and it’s perverted, not because love of self is bad (it is not; it is necessary, and part of our designing by God - for we cannot love others as we love ourselves, if we do not love ourselves), but because it is able to be distorted into self-love without reference to God: which is where pride is. All our activities are forms of love - they should all reflect the Divine Love which is their Source and Cause; when they compete with that Love, or are turned against it, or are directed away from it, they are disordered; which is why they are sinful: their relation to God’s Love, is a maladjusted relation. And that maladjusted relation, is where evil lies.

IOW - evil, is disordered good; bad choices, are disordered good choices. To get rid of the bad, one would have to get rid of the good; which would mean that we would have no free will. And all because good is what occasions evil (it does not directly cause it.) To avoid evil choices, we would have to be denied the good choosing and good choices on which evil feeds & without which evil cannot even seem to exist: in a rotten apple, an apple is required in order for the rot to be that of a rotten apple.

(Even then, the process known as rot is not in itself bad; merely inconvenient to us. The apple is rotting, because a certain chemical process suitable to the apple and required by its design and its environment is occuring: that process is occurring just as it should - except that it is not convenient if one is hungry and can find only that apple to eat.)

So we would have to be:

non-existent
incapable of choice
automatons
in Heaven instead of on earth
inorganic beings

  • but we would not be humans with liberty of choice, AKA free will.

God could prevent our choices being wrong - but only by constantly redirecting our willing; IOW, by working miracles all the time. Which would stop us knowing what the world is really like. ##


#9

God gave us the incomparable honor of being able to reject him if we choose, like, say, an athiest.
As others have so eloquently said, limiting our ability to choose only good is really no choice at all.


#10

When it comes down to it, evil is simply the rejection of God. Since God is pure good, and evil is a deviation from good, evil is a deviation from God. Since love requires free will, we have to have the choice to not love God. This “not loving God” is the essence of evil. Look at Satan. He doesn’t love God. That’s why he’s evil.


#11

If we did not have free will, we would not be human. We would be no more than beasts, acting by instinct only.

To have a vessel worthy of an imortal soul, God went beyond the brute beasts and created Man, with free will.


#12

[quote=AuntMartha]…He said that if there really was a God, he would have made us so we would only make good choices (choices that fit with God’s Commandments), not bad. In other words, God would have created us from the start designed to only make choices that follow His Commandments.

[/quote]

That’s the recipe for infinite selfishness and infinite self-indulgence. If nothing I can choose (or fail to choose) can make a difference for good or bad in anybody else’s life, then why should any person ever choose to lift a finger for another? Why should any person put themselves out if the choice of not putting themselves out can never, by the will of God, cause anything “bad” to happen? Why should I not choose anything that catches my fancy, when each and every such choice is, by definition, good?

Like I say, a recipe for infinite selfishness and self-indulgence, because our human natures are not yet perfected.


#13

This subject came up in the CCD class I taught to teenagers. Their question was why God allows evil. Here’s how I explained it to them:

Suppose there was someone at your school that you had a terrible crush on. You are dying of love for this person. But this person has no interest in you whatsoever.

Now suppose you discovered a love potion, one that actually worked! All you have to do is slip it into this person’s drink, and he or she will instantly fall in love with you. Would you use it?

This prompted quite a discussion, and every student in the class opted NOT to use the potion. I asked, “Why not?” Their answer was that forced love is not love at all. I then pointed out that that’s why God does not force us to love him.

Hope this helps!


#14

Thank you all for your replies and the links. I’m getting a clearer picture on this now. Especially in terms of being able to choose to love someone.

I also found this list helpful:

So we would have to be:

non-existent
incapable of choice
automatons
in Heaven instead of on earth
inorganic beings

  • but we would not be humans with liberty of choice, AKA free will.

You know, this issue is often one that prevents people from coming to faith. I recently read a book called The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. He starts the book out with a story of an athiest who used to be a minister who lost his faith mainly after seeing a photo of a starving woman in Africa. He couldn’t understand how God could let that happen.

With this family member of mine, he just can’t or won’t take a closer look. It is so disheartening and frustrating for me. I mean, if he really took the time to research and think it through - then was still convinced in nothingness, well okay. I’d still be sad for him, but it would be better than the way it is now - with him pridefully sitting there, obnoxiously making these declarations without any time invested in searching for the truth.

Thanks again.


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.