Free choice? With a twist... - Printable Version
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Free choice? With a twist... - just_a_thinker - 04-18-2011 10:56 PM
My biggest question lately has been this:
IF one starts with the idea that God is good, and that He grants free will...
THEN why do people have no choice when it comes to their existence?
It seems to me that it is unfair that once a person's existence begins they exist eternally, and yet there is no choice of ceasing to exist... only that of loving Him unconditionally and unwaveringly for all eternity, or eternal punishment and torture...
Can anyone help me out with this? Thanks.
RE: Free choice? With a twist... - Elijah Craig - 04-19-2011 01:01 AM
We were all created as we are and placed into a state of affairs that God knew would exist. He created all the tendencies in nature and precursor events to make things happen exactly as they have. While WE may make choices, our choices are made in an environment that was determined from the beginning. Therefore, I think a large part of the free will argument is logically undercut from the beginning.
That being said, I don't know how to assign blame without the existence of free will. I personally hold to a compatibalist view. William Lane Craig is a compatibalist that leans toward free will. Bruce Ware is a compatibalist that leans toward determinism. I recommend reading both and focusing less on the more stringent Free Will and Calvinist views.
RE: Free choice? With a twist... - chris1000bc - 04-19-2011 08:18 AM
How are you defining "fair" (and unfair)? Because usually fair would be defined as "everyone getting the same treatment." If no one gets to choose to end their existence finally, then is not everyone getting the same treatment and then is not that treatment fair? What do you mean by that term?
What assumptions are you making from "God is good" and that he gives us "free will"? I don't think one of those assumptions should be that God must be an indulgent Father or Creator giving people whatever they want or he is not good.
I believe people have no choice when it comes to whether they will exist or not because God has chosen to put us into existence to see and savor him for his glory forever.
RE: Free choice? With a twist... - just_a_thinker - 04-20-2011 04:41 PM
(04-19-2011 08:18 AM)chris1000bc Wrote: @just_a_thinker
Thanks - I probably should have worded it "just" instead of "fair". And by that I mean how can it be in accordance with the good nature of God to not only send people to a horrible eternal destiny, but create them in the first place knowing that they will end up there. Does that clarify anymore?
RE: Free choice? With a twist... - chris1000bc - 04-20-2011 06:50 PM
(04-20-2011 04:41 PM)just_a_thinker Wrote: Thanks - I probably should have worded it "just" instead of "fair". And by that I mean how can it be in accordance with the good nature of God to not only send people to a horrible eternal destiny, but create them in the first place knowing that they will end up there. Does that clarify anymore?
Thanks for the clarification. It helps a lot. Your question was very difficult to answer as originally stated...but even more so now.
As far as eternal punishment goes...God only punishes the guilty. The innocent have nothing to worry about. The only problem is no one is innocent. I believe that God will only meet out punishment as it is deserved. To rebel against an infinitely holy and just God is an infinitely evil act that deserves infinite punishment. Still, God has provided a way of escape in his Son for those who will believe in him.
Yet as it is stated in your question, some people will not believe and be saved and God knew this before he created the world. My answer to how this can be "just" is the same as my answer to the question of "Why is there evil in the world?" - God must have a good purpose in allowing it. I don't understand how it all works, but I do believe that the Lord of all the earth will do right. And the the saving of those he has made righteous in Christ as well as the punishment of the wicked will show forth his glory.
Finally, God has not revealed the "why" for some things, but he has revealed that we are guilty before him, and that our only hope of escape from his wrath is the salvation he has provided in his son. So I would just say that in asking these type of questions we should be careful not to miss the great salvation that God has provided in Jesus Christ.
RE: Free choice? With a twist... - just_a_thinker - 04-20-2011 07:01 PM
That makes sense... sort of. I guess after a Fundy upbringing I just can't stand the thought of not understanding the reasoning behind something. Fundies could never give reasoning for their rules and such, and now it's hard to accept that maybe some things we just can't know. I want to know everything. haha!
RE: Free choice? With a twist... - chris1000bc - 04-20-2011 07:29 PM
That makes two of us.
I don't know what you think of John Piper but he has a sermon series on sin and how it exists somehow for the glory of God. You can read, listen, or watch the sermons here.
RE: Free choice? With a twist... - libresansdieu - 04-20-2011 07:57 PM
(04-18-2011 10:56 PM)just_a_thinker Wrote: My biggest question lately has been this:
Uncle Jean-Paul has a couple tips for you:
"Man simply is. Not that he is simply what he conceives himself to be, but he is what he wills, and as he conceives himself after already existing – as he wills to be after that leap towards existence. Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism. "
"What do we mean by saying that existence precedes essence? We mean that man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards."
RE: Free choice? With a twist... - just_a_thinker - 04-21-2011 12:43 AM
Haha! gotta love Jean Paul! But, I have to say that within my current view of philosophy, I cannot even be sure that I exist...
RE: Free choice? With a twist... - libresansdieu - 04-21-2011 08:41 AM
(04-21-2011 12:43 AM)just_a_thinker Wrote: Haha! gotta love Jean Paul! But, I have to say that within my current view of philosophy, I cannot even be sure that I exist...
You might need some René then