Why did God created the world knowing


#1

A question came up recently in a discussion.

If God is “outside time” and knows everything that is ever going to happen, then he knew the whole future of mankind before he created the world. This means that he knew all the millions that would be tortured, raped, die of terrible diseases, like the black death and aids, would die in concentration camps, in the gulags of Stalin, in countless wars, all the abortions etc. etc. If he knew all that why did he go ahead and create the world? This doesn’t seem to be a loving God.

I know that God gives us free will, and that God can bring good from evil, but that doesn’t seem to be an answer to why he started it all in the first place knowing what would happen.


#2

i would think precisely because of free will. He has to give us a chance, maybe we will surprise Him and ourselves. the fat lady hasn’t sung yet… gee, could there possibly be a reason for it all??


#3

[quote=steve99]A question came up recently in a discussion.

If God is “outside time” and knows everything that is ever going to happen, then he knew the whole future of mankind before he created the world. This means that he knew all the millions that would be tortured, raped, die of terrible diseases, like the black death and aids, would die in concentration camps, in the gulags of Stalin, in countless wars, all the abortions etc. etc. If he knew all that why did he go ahead and create the world? This doesn’t seem to be a loving God.

I know that God gives us free will, and that God can bring good from evil, but that doesn’t seem to be an answer to why he started it all in the first place knowing what would happen.
[/quote]

I’ve always hated the answer, “It’s a mystery.” but it’s a mystery.
Most of the things you mention are the result of God having given us free will which includes the ability to commit evil. The only other possibility was for Him to make us robots deserving neither Heaven or Hell.

And while it is evil that draws our attention and makes the history books yiou might also ask how many people have comforted the sick and dying, taught the ignorant, fought against oppression, brought their brethren to God, &c.

Your question also seems to assume that all the victims you mention would prefer never to have lived – a dubious proposition at best.


#4

well, first, lets consider this… God is in time, and knows the future, as you say. So God’s act was with a future knowledge that sin would eventually occur. Okay, so what? the problem then is predestination, not that sin exists. Its the idea that because God knows the future you are then FATED to sin and then FATED to be saved or unsaved.

second option, very hard to understand. God outside of time as you say. all things, past present and future are in the same frame of reference for God. so God didnt create the world knowing man would sin, to God the sin occured at the same reference frame as the creation and destruction of the world. There is not time, so future knowledge doesnt exist. only problem is, if you cant distinguish the future past and present, you have a hard time reacting and interacting with others… where would that leave God?

so yes, its a mystery.


#5

And just because God knows what’s going to happen…good or bad, doesn’t mean He did it; men did it, God just knows about it in advance, so what?

Only mankind keeps sin alive in the world…by his choice.


#6

Hi Steve,

“Bad things happen to people. This is allowed by God. Therefore God allows bad things to happen to people.” This is valid reasoning

“Whoever allows bad things to happen to people is bad. Now God (as proved above) allows bad things to happen to people. Therefore God is bad.” This is false reasoning.

Something is bad or good, according to whether it achieves a stated purpose or not. If my computer breaks down while I am working on an important presentation, this is a bad event, since I am not able to reach my purpose.

But different persons can have different purposes, relative to the same thing. For example, I am unable to make my presentation, because my computer broke down and I will be fired. This is bad for me, but it might be good for my wife who wants me to quit this job where I am really unhappy.

In the same way, a happening can be bad, from my point of view, but good from God’s point of view, who has created me for a purpose and who knows that this “bad” happening will ultimately be to the good.

We see things with a limited point of view. God sees things from an eternal point of view. We trust him to do the best for us, because the very act of creating us is an act of love.

Verbum


#7

God created man knowing he would fall.
I believe He followed through because it was worth the end result. Before Adam fell he was in good standing with God. He was good as was all creation. I believe God wanted more than fellowship with mankind in his own image. After the fall man needed a redeemer, which could only be through the incarnation and the sacrifice of Himself. Because of this God took on humanity, not temporarily, but forever. Now Jesus gives us the power to become sons of God. Now God can relate to his creation not just as its maker, but as its father. He is part of his creation through the incarnation. Now we love him not just because He made us but also because he forgave us and saved us. Now we choose Himand He chose us.


#8

If I am planning to do something, but have the foreknowledge that it will be a disaster I could go ahead, I could do it differently so it won’t be a disaster, or I could just not do it.
So what was so worth while that despite all the pain and suffering of mankind, and of Jesus, God went ahead and created the world? He didn’t need to. He didn’t need mankind to worship him.
Another alternative is that God doesn’t know the future and is working it out as we go along. So he alters his plans to bring all things to his purposes in the end.
It does say in Genesis that God regretted having made man on earth (Gen 6:6) which rather implies he didn’t know how things would turn out.


#9

[quote=steve99]A question came up recently in a discussion.

If God is “outside time” and knows everything that is ever going to happen, then he knew the whole future of mankind before he created the world. This means that he knew all the millions that would be tortured, raped, die of terrible diseases, like the black death and aids, would die in concentration camps, in the gulags of Stalin, in countless wars, all the abortions etc. etc. If he knew all that why did he go ahead and create the world? This doesn’t seem to be a loving God.

I know that God gives us free will, and that God can bring good from evil, but that doesn’t seem to be an answer to why he started it all in the first place knowing what would happen.
[/quote]

I really this statement to the question you ask

“If God created everything, then he must have created evil. Why?”

This is a question that used to burn on my mind and I am sure it burns on the minds of others. When I found the following story, I nearly jumped out of my seat. If you are searching for the answer to this difficult question, I think this story should suffice.

The university professor challenged his students with this question. “Did God create everything that exists?” A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”

“God created everything?” The professor asked.

“Yes sir”, the student replied.

The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil.” The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”

“Of course”, replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”

“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?” The students snickered at the young man’s question.

The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”

The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?”

The professor responded, “Of course it does.”

The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”

Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”

Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

The professor sat down.

The young man’s name — Albert Einstein.

If you found this story helpful, please send it to everyone you know!


#10

I’ve asked this question a few times myself. I think we first need to remember who God is. He is love and generative being is part of His nature.

Put simply, since He is love, we are worth it to Him, and for some reason, a mystery beyond our comprehension, it is also worth it for us. Think of it this way, since we image Him, most of us want to have children, that is, be generative. Now if our love is perfected as Christ admonished us to love (i.e. love the lowly and sinful), even if you had foreknowledge that your own child would do bad things, you would want to have them because you love them. I think this is why God still created us.

Secondly, none of us know the exact will of God or what eschatology holds for us. Maybe, by having fallen, our redemption will be all the more powerful. Maybe things will be better for us in the long run after having fallen. We only see the short end of it, and that is that we have to suffer, but that suffering to my mind is purgation, and maybe that means post fall redemption equals a better person than if we didn’t need redemption. In the least, it separates the wheat from the chaff.


#11

I got excited and accidently hit the “quote” icon. I’d always secretly had the question of whether God created evil or the devil and the story about cold being the absence of heat and darkness being the absence of light erased my uncomfortable belief. God is a complex and omnipresent energy (present where it’s warm and light, that is). We try to imagine “Him” as human to help wrap our brains around the power. I’ve read so many definitions of God: “God is ‘isness’”, God’s “circumference is nowhere and center is everywhere”, God is “love”, “light”, “creator”, “goodness”,etc. The only thing I’ve left to tackle is the problem I have with war. I can’t accept that God, “love”, “light”, “creator”, “goodness”, would ever support war.


#12

Forgive me for not reading the entire thread before answering, and possibly repeating what has already been said.

Would you not agree that, if you go to heaven, it would be well worth having endured whatever horrible things you had to endure on earth?

Would you also agree that, if you go to hell, what you endure there will far outstrip your earthly sufferings?

Any happiness or suffering we endure here will pale in comparison to its counterpoint in the afterlife. Furthermore, our earthly sufferings can unite us with Christ and bring us closer to him.

To answer the question, “why would God create us knowing we’d suffer”, I’ll paraphrase what I’ve read, which says that God, in his infinite goodness, created us in order to share His love. It’s not that He needed someone to love, because the Trinity is the perfection of love; rather, the perfection of His love was such that He created us out of sheer generosity – the desire to let others share in His love – which is what the Blessed do for eternity.

Peace,
Dante


#13

Time is an instrument in which we measure distances. I cannot think of the specifics (and would be more than glad for any of our bretheren in the scientific communities to correct me; ) but the more we learn about how things work, the more it seems as if time is non-existent.

Personally I think that our viewpoint of time is one of the consequences of original sin.

And to Adam he said: Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat, cursed is the earth in thy work; with labour and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life. Genesis 3:17

We created our own suffering; but at the same time, we also set into motion God’s greatest act of love- his humbling himself for our sake and our salvation on the Cross. Everything is beneficial; so even though God knew the sufferings that were bound his Creation, He knew that the outcome would be even greater because of it. Let me put it this way, since He loved us so much as to allow us to make choices, He was willing to allow us to suffer so that we can understand even more fully what it means to love.

Maybe a more modern viewpoint would be:

Adam and Eve pre-Fall= children
Humanity post-Fall= adolescents/teenagers
Humans at the Final Judgement=adults


#14

It seems to me there are only three alternatives:

  1. Don’t create the world, or

  2. Create a world in which everyone is forced to love. But, then again, forced love isn’t true love, so it wouldn’t be love at all. So this option isn’t really an option at all, or

  3. Create a world in which man has the choice to love (which, of course means he can also choose not to love).

It really boils down to numbers 1 or 3, doesn’t it? Unless someone can think of a fourth alternative.


#15

The question has been answered and I would like to take a different view on suffering.

In regard to the whys about bad things happening: Why do people never ask ‘why’ when something good happens?

Do you ever hear these questions:
[LIST]
*]Why was my child born healthy?
*]Why did my parents take such great care of me?
*]Why do I have a place to live and food to eat?
*]Why was John’s cancer cured?
*]Why did I sleep so well last night?
*]Why does my back feel good today?
*]Why did the flowers bloom this spring?
*]Why did my baby take his first steps?[/LIST]Lastly, we need to remember that we were created in His image. What does this mean? He made everything in the world for us. He creates; we are to be pro-creative. He loves; we love (how can we know Him if we cannot love? How can we procreate if we cannot love?) He in the Holy Trinity is also the Holy Spirit; we are to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. He worked and rested; we work and rest. He has dominion over the world; we were given dominion over all creation. He mourns the bad things that people do just as we do. He could have created us without freewill, but we would not have been in His image.

Peace be with you,

Kelly


#16

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