Did God Give Humans a Free Will for Our Benefit or for His?

Image result for image of the snake in the garden of eden

Christian blogger:

I explained in the previous entry that God is not the author of evil; an extremely intelligent non-human being, by the name of Satan, is. Evil entered the human race when this character, Satan, enticed our first ancestors to disobey God’s rule. Evil is a direct consequence of disobedience to God’s law through an act of free will, and even though evil did not originate with us humans, every single one of us is partly responsible for the evil in the world, some to a greater extent than others, but no one is completely innocent.

Gary:

In the process of my deconversion from Christianity, I took a long hard look at the story of Creation.  Something just didn’t add up.  Why did Adam and Eve need a free will???  If God hadn’t given them a free will they would not have eaten the forbidden fruit, and if they had not eaten the forbidden fruit, they might still be romping around a lush garden, bare-naked, playing with lions, tigers, and bears! The snake’s temptation would have been a complete waste of time.

Christians will often counter that God did not want us to be “automatons”.  “It would have been so unfair of God to create us without a free will.”

Why???

It isn’t as if an inability to chose “evil” turns you into a robot.  You still have a free will, it is just limited in scope.  You are still free to choose among a large selection of “good” choices.

“What do I want to do this morning?  Let’s see, I can go play with the lions; I can go swimming with the sharks; or I can just lie around here all morning with my beautiful “mate”.  And, I get to make those same choices every day for…eternity.  What’s so bad about that?”

Let’s review my choices:  Without a free will, I will spend all eternity still able to select from multiple possible alternatives regarding how to spend my carefree, work-free, time just as long as it is something pleasing to God.  With a free will, I will enjoy all the same fun things, but, if I screw up just once, and make the wrong choice by choosing something displeasing to God, I will spend the rest of my life performing hard labor, suffering sickness and injuries, eventually dying some horrible death, and unless I’m lucky enough to live somewhere on earth where I can hear the Gospel of Jesus, quite probably will spend eternity in a place of hellacious, unspeakable torment.

I’ll choose no free will, please!

That’s a no-brainer!

The argument that God had to give us a free will to be fair to us is nonsense.  God gave us a free will for his benefit.  Creating us so that we couldn’t fail is boring.  Creating us so that we could fail is exciting!  Why else do you think that God put his Temptation Tree smack dab in the middle of the Garden?  Why else do you think God allowed Satan access to the Garden to pose as a talking snake to tempt and trick Eve into eating the forbidden fruit?

It was a total set-up, folks!

Free will wasn’t for us, it was for God.  God gave us a free will because he wanted and expected us to fail. 

The Judeo-Christian god is either one sick bastard…or he is just a silly ancient tall tale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of post.

 

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35 thoughts on “Did God Give Humans a Free Will for Our Benefit or for His?

  1. Consider: this creation story has been around a very long time, far longer by a few millennia than the ‘recent’ arrival of JC. Why did it hang around? If the story is about our fallen nature in need of redemption for committing an original sin – hence the arrival and sacrifice of a Redeemer to explain it – then why was the story passed on from generation to generation prior to Jesus without any satisfactory explanation? It makes no sense.

    That Christians want to interpret this ancient story through the ‘modern’ lens of Jesus Christ dying for our sins reveals that they must have it wrong or the story would have died out dozens of centuries earlier!

    So. What other meaning could the story have, one so useful that people passed it on to the younger generation dozens and dozens of times prior to Jesus? That’s the playing field that might offer you a much more satisfying answer. Throw away the Christian interpretation; the story not only doesn’t need it, it has useful application that is perverted by this absurd Christian interpretation.

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  2. An all-knowing, all-powerful god created a universe which he knew he would shortly curse. He created living creatures in that universe which he knew upon whom he would shortly inflict massive suffering, pain, disease, and death.

    And then, after thousands of years of massive human and animal suffering, this god decides that the universe has suffered sufficiently, so he sends himself to earth, to a remote corner of the globe, disguised as a peasant carpenter, with the good news that if anyone believes his fantastical tale, that…he was born of a virgin; fathered by a god; and is in reality the Creator of the universe…one will escape the eternal punishment so justly deserved for our ancient ancestors’ forbidden fruit eating.

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  3. Presumably there’s no free will in heaven – no choice to be made between good and evil. That being so, why was it ever necessary to begin with?

    Its inclusion in the story is one indicator among many that this is just a fable invented by pre-scientific humans in a failed attempt to explain ‘the human condition.’

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    1. Exactly right, Neil. It is just one primitive culture’s attempt to explain their existence. There are hundreds of other Creation Stories from hundreds of other ancient cultures. The blatant silliness of the Hebrew creation story is the best evidence that it was invented and not based on actual historical events.

      Talking snakes. Ridiculous.

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    2. Neil and Gary, the story is a myth. Not a lie. Not a bizarre historical account. Not an idiotic story only fools believe. Not a story to simply entertain people of perhaps substrata intelligence from some ‘primitive’ culture. As a myth, it’s incredibly valuable as a teaching tool. That’s why it’s lasted thousands of years… long, long before JC shows up to suddenly ‘explain’ it!

      Good grief. Both of you seem to assume that the story is somehow at fault when there’s every indication that neither of you seems willing to question your ability to read it as it was meant to be read: symbolically. I don’t see even this paltry attempt here. Yet listeners and readers from these ‘primitive’ cultures were quite able to inform the story with personal meaning and appreciate that it produces very practical wisdom for each succeeding generation they told it to! Or did this little tidbit of fact based on its longevity somehow evade your examination and judgement on it? I mean, wow! To presume as much as you guys do takes quite an extraordinary amount of hubris.

      Look, throw away the Christian interpretation. It’s not just wrong, it’s patently wrong, obviously wrong, idiotically wrong. Recognize the myth as a myth it obviously is and the read it appropriately… as you are to do with any myth if you wish empower its teachings. Only then will the ‘light’ in your advanced brain within the context of your modern culture come on!

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      1. tildeb said: ‘Both of you (Gary and Neil) seem to assume that the story is somehow at fault when there’s every indication that neither of you seems willing to question your ability to read it as it was meant to be read: symbolically.’

        No, we’re critiquing the story as it is interpreted by evangelicals. Gary quotes one such, then there are sites like Answers In Genesis and Triablogue that take Genesis 1-3 to be literal, not symbolic.

        In any case, tildeb, how do you know that the authors of the story ‘meant’ it to be read ‘symbolically’? This is the intentional fallacy. You can’t possibly know this was what they had in mind.

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              1. They are very aware of the consequences of sin and they simply won’t want to do it. They are there because they love God.
                The Word of God says it won’t happen. Revelation 21:4

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                1. The only way you can say that it absolutely, positively, will not happen in heaven is if God does not allow it to happen: and that can only happen if God deprives everyone of their free will!!!

                  Just admit it: The people in heaven will have the same limitations of choice that Adam and Eve would have had if God had not given them a free will. Proving that people don’t need a free will to be happy!

                  God gave humans a free will for HIS benefit, not ours. God wanted to SCREW us, and he set everything up so that he could do just that…if this tall tale is true.

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                  1. I don’t admit something that is not backed by the Bible. God sees into eternity and He knows that, just as 2/3 of His angels have and will remain faithful to Him forever, so will His redeemed people, His bride, His Church.

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                    1. All 100% of them will remain faithful because he has removed their free will!

                      God could have done the same for Adam and Eve, but he didn’t. Why?

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                  2. Gary, you’re falling for Satan’s deception of slandering God’s character. This is exactly what he spread before he was expelled from heaven, to instill doubts in the minds of other angels, and thus have them join in the rebellion. The answer to these doubts is Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life of selfless self-sacrifice, culminating in the cross, to demonstrate to every created being the true character of God and expose Satan as the unjust slanderer he is. I would ask you to read the first chapter of Desire of Ages by Ellen G. White:
                    http://www.thedesireofages.com/The_Desire_of_Ages_text/DA.pdf
                    She gives a very good insight about these issues.
                    If you want to continue thinking that God (who you very well know is very real, and not a “tale”) wants to “screw” you, you’re free to do so, He meant for you to have that freedom.

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                    1. If that is the case, if I’m wrong, then probably when I die that will be it, I will cease to exist forever. No biggie.
                      But if I’m right, and you’re wrong, you’ll be in deep trouble.

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                    2.         What if Muslims are right?
                      

                      What if Jews are right?
                      What if one of the thousands of other exclusivist religions or sects on the planet is right?

                      You are placing your bet on a one in several thousands odds. The chances of you winning is incredibly low. I am simply choosing not to waste my bet (time) on such a very, very, very long, long-shot.

                      So you see, there are no safe bets.

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                    3. That’s why God gave us that thing sitting on top of our shoulders, so that we can analyze which ones have the best historical records, evidence, etc. and thus you can weed out the ones that are likely to be a fable and which ones might have a chance of being true. It is important; after all where you’ll spend eternity depends on it.

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                    4. Mormons have signed affidavits from 12 known eyewitnesses stating that they saw the Golden Tablets and three of them state that they saw the angel Moroni! That is much better evidence than anything that Christians have.

                      Orthodox Jews claim that 3,000,000 of their ancestors heard Yahweh speak to them at Sinai and one of the things he told them is that He would never take the form of a man. That is much better evidence than anything Christians have.

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                    5. All the Mormon witnesses are worthless as they are unreliable people who recanted their testimony.
                      Modern Mormon “spin doctors” write all kinds of articles claiming that the witnesses may have denied the Mormon church but they never the book of Mormon. That is a lie.
                      Some Mormons will agree that all three witnesses denied the book of Mormon but came back to deny their denial. Imagine the twelve apostles suddenly denying Jesus rose from the dead in public, only to ask people to ignore their denials and accept their testimony once again. This the apostles of Christ never did.
                      Only the deluded could possibly believe the outrageous fairytale called Mormonism.

                      Of course that more than 2,000,000 jews were eyewitnesses to the events at Sinai in Arabia in 1450 BC. I believe that too! Hello!, I am a Bible believing Christian! Nowhere in the Bible does it mention that Yahweh would never take the form of a man. In fact Isaiah 7:14 says precisely that God will become a a man. Orthodox Judaism considers Isaiah canonical.

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                    6. “All the Mormon witnesses are worthless as they are unreliable people who recanted their testimony.”

                      Please give us the names of the witnesses who recanted.

                      We have no idea what Jesus’ original disciples said because we have no conclusive, confirmed statements from them, unlike the Mormons, who have signed affidavits.

                      Jews state that God told them at Sinai that He would NEVER take the form of a man. Therefore if you truly are a believer in the HEBREW Bible, you need to abandon your idolatry of worshiping a man (Jesus of Nazareth) and worship only Yahweh, the one and only true G_d…according to Jews.

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                    7. Martin Harris, David Whitmer, and Oliver Cowdery.

                      Please show me where the Jews state (canonical Tanakh writings please, no Talmud) that God would never take the form of a man.

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                    8. No, I will not restrict our discussion to the written Tanakh (the written Old Testament). am discussing Judaism from a JEWISH perspective, not your biased evangelical Christian view of Judaism. You are ignoring the fact that Jews hold the oral Torah as an equal authority.

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                    9. ANTHROPOMORPHISM, the attribution to God of human physical form or psychological characteristics. Anthropomorphism is a normal phenomenon in all primitive and ancient polytheistic religions. In Jewish literary sources from the Bible to the aggadah and Midrashim, the use of anthropomorphic descriptions and expressions (both physical and psychical) is also widespread. Yet at the same time it is accepted as a major axiom of Judaism, from the biblical period onward, that no material representation of the Deity is possible or permissible.

                      https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/anthropomorphism

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  4. The bible doesn’t say believers are going to heaven, diosescucha. It says the Kingdom of Heaven is coming to the Earth real soon (as in the first century). Read the verse you quote (Revelation 21.4) in context and you’ll see that’s exactly what it’s claiming. It has nothing to do with heaven as you imagine it, nor ‘free-will’, which isn’t mentioned anywhere in the bible.

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    1. Neil,
      Do you believe that God’s kingdom is already in this earth since the first century, with the pure evil that happens all around us? I think not.
      Yes, the kingdom of God will come to earth, literally. A city will literally come down from heaven and God will have His dwelling here on earth, there won’t be a barrier between heaven and earth anymore. This is all described in Rev. 21 as you well said. But this will not happen until 1000 years after the second coming of Jesus, which will happen soon (I believe less than 20 years).
      At Jesus’ second coming, His people, the Church, will be taken with Him to Heaven for 1,000 years and after that they will come back down in the New Jerusalem. The event that will be taking place very soon, when Jesus will come down from heaven and taking the Church with Him, is what some call “the rapture”; but I don’t like to call it that, because there is so much misinformation associated with that term, coming from Satan’s special forces, the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits.
      This event is very well described in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18
      14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
      15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
      16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
      17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
      18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
      Paul clearly describes how the dead in Christ, from all ages, will be resurrected, and together with the elect ones who will be alive at that time will be taken to heaven. The alive ones are the 144,000 described in Revelation, which I think is a literal number, although it may not be. And they go to Heaven, they don’t stay here. They were seen by John in the visions that the Lord showed him at Patmos. They are described in Rev 15:2:
      2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
      This sea of glass is in Heaven, not on earth. They are also described in Rev. 20:4-5:
      4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
      5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
      You must take into account that Revelation is written in chiasmus style, stuff repeats pivoting symmetrically around the middle point. So yes, the Bible does say that believers will go to heaven.
      As far as free will, if there is no free will, how would you explain verses like these:
      Joshua 24:15.
      And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

      2 Samuel 24:12.
      Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
      Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
      Proverbs 1:29-31
      29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord:
      30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
      31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
      Proverbs 3:31
      Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.
      Isaiah 56:4
      For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
      Isaiah 65:12
      Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
      Maybe it’s not there explicitly, but it sure is there underlying implicitly everywhere.

      Read also this great article by Ron Smith, MD:
      https://www.amerechristian.com/choosing-sovereignty-timelessness-and-agape/

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  5. Just another preacher, Gary. They’re a dime a dozen on blogs. Somehow they think that quoting scripture from a man-made book gives them untouchable power.
    Can you say, “delusional”?

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