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Author Topic: Why Did God Create Humanity?  (Read 1349 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2013, 05:13:55 PM »

It is God who brings about Job's sorrow and affliction.  It is not Job.  It is not even the devil.  It is God.
This is too much of a simple answer in the case of Job.

And it answers the wrong question about the book of Job.
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« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2013, 05:21:10 PM »

Saying that pain and suffering is needed for us to find "meaning" has always been the stupidest answer to me that I ever heard to this question. If God is all powerful then He wouldn't need to use pain and suffering--which is evil--in order to deify us. In fact, I find that view WAY too dualistic in that it gives evil too much power and influence.

He doesn't need to do so.  Unless I've misunderstood things (more than possible!), we have brought our pain and suffering on ourselves.  Read Genesis.  And the book I mentioned above.  Besides, it's not about "finding meaning"--it's about sin, overcoming sin and temptation, and salvation.  Slightly different, I think.

No, God does; read Job.

I do plan to go back and re-read Job (it's been awhile since I read it last).  But, please explain how God has brought about our pain and suffering.  I'm genuinely interested.  I'm fully aware that God allows many things to happen to us, but allowing something and bringing it about are two quite different things, I think.  Or maybe you mean something entirely different.

Firstly, I would say that it is proper to speak of allowing something to happen as causing it.  That is, if you were to walk by a drowning child and not bother to help him, I would say that you brought about that child's death, even though you didn't push him into the water or keep him from getting out, because you failed to get him out.

But that isn't quite what I was going for.  In Job, it is always God that brings up "my servant Job."  For example, in chapter one, God asks the devil where he came from, and the devil says that he was wandering the earth.  And then it is God who brings up the question of Job, saying "Have you yet considered my servant Job, since there is none like him on the earth."  This happens over and over again, God keeps bringing up Job to the devil.

It is God who brings about Job's sorrow and affliction.  It is not Job.  It is not even the devil.  It is God.

By your reasoning if I've understood you correctly, He also caused Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit thereby causing them to fall away from Him into sin.  This precludes free will and has God choosing for Adam, Eve, and all the rest of us.  God causes us to sin because He doesn't prevent us from doing so when we so choose?  This isn't the Christianity that I was taught.

There is nothing precluding agency of man and God in the fall. One of the many false dichotomies that only make sense one people get carried away with extreme notions of language and theology.

Free will is one of those terribly loaded and almost nonsensical notions on its very face which should be stricken from most discourse on anything.

No one has a free will, one could even argue that God doesn't, this is less clear. But certainly that which is created, contingent, and conditioned doesn't have anything approaching a free will. To suggest otherwise you end up with excesses of weird Calvinisms or equally weird if more elegant Existentialism and other strange ways of reconciling free will with God's agency.

  
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« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2013, 05:27:33 PM »

Free will is one of those terribly loaded and almost nonsensical notions on its very face which should be stricken from most discourse on anything.

No one has a free will, one could even argue that God doesn't, this is less clear. But certainly that which is created, contingent, and conditioned doesn't have anything approaching a free will. To suggest otherwise you end up with excesses of weird Calvinisms or equally weird if more elegant Existentialism and other strange ways of reconciling free will with God's agency.

The Orthodox concept is αὐτεξουσία. It's not exactly "free will". Literally, it would be "power/authority over oneself", "self-determination".

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days.” (Deut. 30, 19-20)
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« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2013, 05:30:06 PM »

Free will is one of those terribly loaded and almost nonsensical notions on its very face which should be stricken from most discourse on anything.

No one has a free will, one could even argue that God doesn't, this is less clear. But certainly that which is created, contingent, and conditioned doesn't have anything approaching a free will. To suggest otherwise you end up with excesses of weird Calvinisms or equally weird if more elegant Existentialism and other strange ways of reconciling free will with God's agency.

The Orthodox concept is αὐτεξουσία. It's not exactly "free will". Literally, it would be "power/authority over oneself", "self-determination".

How is this not free will?
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« Reply #49 on: February 20, 2013, 05:34:04 PM »

How is this not free will?

You get to choose, but your options are limited.  Wink
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« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2013, 05:35:37 PM »

How is this not free will?

You get to choose, but your options are limited.  Wink

Thank God!  Wink
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« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2013, 05:37:55 PM »

Saying that pain and suffering is needed for us to find "meaning" has always been the stupidest answer to me that I ever heard to this question. If God is all powerful then He wouldn't need to use pain and suffering--which is evil--in order to deify us. In fact, I find that view WAY too dualistic in that it gives evil too much power and influence.

He doesn't need to do so.  Unless I've misunderstood things (more than possible!), we have brought our pain and suffering on ourselves.  Read Genesis.  And the book I mentioned above.  Besides, it's not about "finding meaning"--it's about sin, overcoming sin and temptation, and salvation.  Slightly different, I think.

No, God does; read Job.

I do plan to go back and re-read Job (it's been awhile since I read it last).  But, please explain how God has brought about our pain and suffering.  I'm genuinely interested.  I'm fully aware that God allows many things to happen to us, but allowing something and bringing it about are two quite different things, I think.  Or maybe you mean something entirely different.

Firstly, I would say that it is proper to speak of allowing something to happen as causing it.  That is, if you were to walk by a drowning child and not bother to help him, I would say that you brought about that child's death, even though you didn't push him into the water or keep him from getting out, because you failed to get him out.

But that isn't quite what I was going for.  In Job, it is always God that brings up "my servant Job."  For example, in chapter one, God asks the devil where he came from, and the devil says that he was wandering the earth.  And then it is God who brings up the question of Job, saying "Have you yet considered my servant Job, since there is none like him on the earth."  This happens over and over again, God keeps bringing up Job to the devil.

It is God who brings about Job's sorrow and affliction.  It is not Job.  It is not even the devil.  It is God.

By your reasoning if I've understood you correctly, He also caused Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit thereby causing them to fall away from Him into sin.  This precludes free will and has God choosing for Adam, Eve, and all the rest of us.  God causes us to sin because He doesn't prevent us from doing so when we so choose?  This isn't the Christianity that I was taught.

There is nothing precluding agency of man and God in the fall. One of the many false dichotomies that only make sense one people get carried away with extreme notions of language and theology.

Free will is one of those terribly loaded and almost nonsensical notions on its very face which should be stricken from most discourse on anything.

No one has a free will, one could even argue that God doesn't, this is less clear. But certainly that which is created, contingent, and conditioned doesn't have anything approaching a free will. To suggest otherwise you end up with excesses of weird Calvinisms or equally weird if more elegant Existentialism and other strange ways of reconciling free will with God's agency.

  

In simple, not-overly-"philosophical", plain, easy-to-understand English, please?  (You know, apply the K.I.S.S. rule--Keep It Simple (for) Stupid [that'd be me, in this case Wink])
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 05:39:49 PM by J Michael » Logged

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« Reply #52 on: February 20, 2013, 06:00:38 PM »

Saying that pain and suffering is needed for us to find "meaning" has always been the stupidest answer to me that I ever heard to this question. If God is all powerful then He wouldn't need to use pain and suffering--which is evil--in order to deify us. In fact, I find that view WAY too dualistic in that it gives evil too much power and influence.

He doesn't need to do so.  Unless I've misunderstood things (more than possible!), we have brought our pain and suffering on ourselves.  Read Genesis.  And the book I mentioned above.  Besides, it's not about "finding meaning"--it's about sin, overcoming sin and temptation, and salvation.  Slightly different, I think.

No, God does; read Job.

I do plan to go back and re-read Job (it's been awhile since I read it last).  But, please explain how God has brought about our pain and suffering.  I'm genuinely interested.  I'm fully aware that God allows many things to happen to us, but allowing something and bringing it about are two quite different things, I think.  Or maybe you mean something entirely different.

Firstly, I would say that it is proper to speak of allowing something to happen as causing it.  That is, if you were to walk by a drowning child and not bother to help him, I would say that you brought about that child's death, even though you didn't push him into the water or keep him from getting out, because you failed to get him out.

But that isn't quite what I was going for.  In Job, it is always God that brings up "my servant Job."  For example, in chapter one, God asks the devil where he came from, and the devil says that he was wandering the earth.  And then it is God who brings up the question of Job, saying "Have you yet considered my servant Job, since there is none like him on the earth."  This happens over and over again, God keeps bringing up Job to the devil.

It is God who brings about Job's sorrow and affliction.  It is not Job.  It is not even the devil.  It is God.

By your reasoning if I've understood you correctly, He also caused Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit thereby causing them to fall away from Him into sin.  This precludes free will and has God choosing for Adam, Eve, and all the rest of us.  God causes us to sin because He doesn't prevent us from doing so when we so choose?  This isn't the Christianity that I was taught.

There is nothing precluding agency of man and God in the fall. One of the many false dichotomies that only make sense one people get carried away with extreme notions of language and theology.

Free will is one of those terribly loaded and almost nonsensical notions on its very face which should be stricken from most discourse on anything.

No one has a free will, one could even argue that God doesn't, this is less clear. But certainly that which is created, contingent, and conditioned doesn't have anything approaching a free will. To suggest otherwise you end up with excesses of weird Calvinisms or equally weird if more elegant Existentialism and other strange ways of reconciling free will with God's agency.

  
It begs the question of what "free will" actually is. What is its being?
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« Reply #53 on: February 20, 2013, 07:27:31 PM »

How is this not free will?

You get to choose, but your options are limited.  Wink

That is gross understatement and rarely how it is construed at least in the literature I've read and what I've heard learned folks speak on the matter regarding "free will" within Orthodoxy.

This brings up the salient question and one I think augustin problematizes here rather effectively, can someone within modernity convert to Orthodoxy?

This would go to your recent insightful post about where phronema of Orthodoxy truly lies. A post I wish more folks would think about and extend to other aspects of Christianity.
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« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2013, 07:31:10 PM »

Saying that pain and suffering is needed for us to find "meaning" has always been the stupidest answer to me that I ever heard to this question. If God is all powerful then He wouldn't need to use pain and suffering--which is evil--in order to deify us. In fact, I find that view WAY too dualistic in that it gives evil too much power and influence.

He doesn't need to do so.  Unless I've misunderstood things (more than possible!), we have brought our pain and suffering on ourselves.  Read Genesis.  And the book I mentioned above.  Besides, it's not about "finding meaning"--it's about sin, overcoming sin and temptation, and salvation.  Slightly different, I think.

No, God does; read Job.

I do plan to go back and re-read Job (it's been awhile since I read it last).  But, please explain how God has brought about our pain and suffering.  I'm genuinely interested.  I'm fully aware that God allows many things to happen to us, but allowing something and bringing it about are two quite different things, I think.  Or maybe you mean something entirely different.

Firstly, I would say that it is proper to speak of allowing something to happen as causing it.  That is, if you were to walk by a drowning child and not bother to help him, I would say that you brought about that child's death, even though you didn't push him into the water or keep him from getting out, because you failed to get him out.

But that isn't quite what I was going for.  In Job, it is always God that brings up "my servant Job."  For example, in chapter one, God asks the devil where he came from, and the devil says that he was wandering the earth.  And then it is God who brings up the question of Job, saying "Have you yet considered my servant Job, since there is none like him on the earth."  This happens over and over again, God keeps bringing up Job to the devil.

It is God who brings about Job's sorrow and affliction.  It is not Job.  It is not even the devil.  It is God.

By your reasoning if I've understood you correctly, He also caused Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit thereby causing them to fall away from Him into sin.  This precludes free will and has God choosing for Adam, Eve, and all the rest of us.  God causes us to sin because He doesn't prevent us from doing so when we so choose?  This isn't the Christianity that I was taught.

There is nothing precluding agency of man and God in the fall. One of the many false dichotomies that only make sense one people get carried away with extreme notions of language and theology.

Free will is one of those terribly loaded and almost nonsensical notions on its very face which should be stricken from most discourse on anything.

No one has a free will, one could even argue that God doesn't, this is less clear. But certainly that which is created, contingent, and conditioned doesn't have anything approaching a free will. To suggest otherwise you end up with excesses of weird Calvinisms or equally weird if more elegant Existentialism and other strange ways of reconciling free will with God's agency.

  
It begs the question of what "free will" actually is. What is its being?

I would file free will under nonsense frankly for day to day discourse or discourse outside precise discussion of free will within the history of thought. I don't know how anyone capable of reading this could say otherwise.

Otherwise, you better bone up on the introduction to Being and Nothingness because it is possibly the only decent defense of something like free will. Of course, you would have to cease to be a Christian.

But hey, it's totally up to you.
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« Reply #55 on: February 20, 2013, 08:52:59 PM »

That is gross understatement and rarely how it is construed at least in the literature I've read and what I've heard learned folks speak on the matter regarding "free will" within Orthodoxy.

There are a couple of chapters on the matter in The Exposition of the Orthodox Faith of St. John of Damascus.

This brings up the salient question and one I think augustin problematizes here rather effectively, can someone within modernity convert to Orthodoxy?

Augustin himself and most people on this forum are modern converts to Orthodoxy, so that alone should mean it's possible. IIRC you are one yourself, aren't you? I for one am a revert - I was baptised as an infant, but didn't grow up in the Church.

If we take Orthodoxy to mean actually having "the mind of Christ" - then even Saints can be in trouble. As Elder Sophrony put it: ”There was only one Orthodox in history and they nailed Him to the cross.”

There is hope, though:

Quote
The Holy Fathers were making predictions about the last generation. They said 'What have we ourselves done?' One of them, the great Abba Ischyrion replied, 'We ourselves have fulfilled the commandments of God.' The others replied, 'And those who come after us, what will they do?' He said, 'They will struggle to achieve half our works.' They said, 'And to those who come after them, what will happen?' He said, 'THE MEN OF THAT GENERATION WILL NOT ACCOMPLISH ANY WORKS AT ALL AND TEMPTATION WILL COME UPON THEM; AND THOSE WHO WILL BE APPROVED IN THAT DAY WILL BE GREATER THAN EITHER US OR OUR FATHERS.'

Sayings of the Desert Fathers
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« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2013, 11:27:55 AM »

Saying that pain and suffering is needed for us to find "meaning" has always been the stupidest answer to me that I ever heard to this question. If God is all powerful then He wouldn't need to use pain and suffering--which is evil--in order to deify us. In fact, I find that view WAY too dualistic in that it gives evil too much power and influence.

He doesn't need to do so.  Unless I've misunderstood things (more than possible!), we have brought our pain and suffering on ourselves.  Read Genesis.  And the book I mentioned above.  Besides, it's not about "finding meaning"--it's about sin, overcoming sin and temptation, and salvation.  Slightly different, I think.

No, God does; read Job.

I do plan to go back and re-read Job (it's been awhile since I read it last).  But, please explain how God has brought about our pain and suffering.  I'm genuinely interested.  I'm fully aware that God allows many things to happen to us, but allowing something and bringing it about are two quite different things, I think.  Or maybe you mean something entirely different.

Firstly, I would say that it is proper to speak of allowing something to happen as causing it.  That is, if you were to walk by a drowning child and not bother to help him, I would say that you brought about that child's death, even though you didn't push him into the water or keep him from getting out, because you failed to get him out.

But that isn't quite what I was going for.  In Job, it is always God that brings up "my servant Job."  For example, in chapter one, God asks the devil where he came from, and the devil says that he was wandering the earth.  And then it is God who brings up the question of Job, saying "Have you yet considered my servant Job, since there is none like him on the earth."  This happens over and over again, God keeps bringing up Job to the devil.

It is God who brings about Job's sorrow and affliction.  It is not Job.  It is not even the devil.  It is God.

By your reasoning if I've understood you correctly, He also caused Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit thereby causing them to fall away from Him into sin.  This precludes free will and has God choosing for Adam, Eve, and all the rest of us.  God causes us to sin because He doesn't prevent us from doing so when we so choose?  This isn't the Christianity that I was taught.

There is nothing precluding agency of man and God in the fall. One of the many false dichotomies that only make sense one people get carried away with extreme notions of language and theology.

Free will is one of those terribly loaded and almost nonsensical notions on its very face which should be stricken from most discourse on anything.

No one has a free will, one could even argue that God doesn't, this is less clear. But certainly that which is created, contingent, and conditioned doesn't have anything approaching a free will. To suggest otherwise you end up with excesses of weird Calvinisms or equally weird if more elegant Existentialism and other strange ways of reconciling free will with God's agency.

  
It begs the question of what "free will" actually is. What is its being?

I would file free will under nonsense frankly for day to day discourse or discourse outside precise discussion of free will within the history of thought. I don't know how anyone capable of reading this could say otherwise.

Otherwise, you better bone up on the introduction to Being and Nothingness because it is possibly the only decent defense of something like free will. Of course, you would have to cease to be a Christian.

But hey, it's totally up to you.


As in, we get to (freely?) choose to do so or not?
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« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2013, 08:25:28 AM »

Why does God create animals?

Does God love animals? Why don't God make animals in His image, just like how He create men?

Really?

It is a legitimate question. I think walter tends to be one of the more sincere posters here and sounds like he has many questions and takes the feedback seriously and lacks much "real world" ability to have his questions addressed. (He doesn't seem just to ask questions just to do so.)

Walter, why do you think that something has to be in God's image for God to have love for it?

IF God love animals as the same as the men, why didn't He allow the animals to be His childs? Why didn't He give them the soul so they can know and pray to Him?
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« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2013, 04:46:30 AM »

In response to the original question, I don't know.  I am mostly at peace with that.
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« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2013, 01:49:09 PM »

God can't lack good therefore He cannot do evil.

With God all things are possible.

Agreed, however evil is a lack of good, God(The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit) lacks nothing, therefore He cannot do evil, He can do it, but never will, therefore cannot do evil, He is Perfect.
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« Reply #60 on: February 25, 2013, 04:56:43 AM »


It is God who brings about Job's sorrow and affliction.  It is not Job.  It is not even the devil.  It is God.

I have to disagree as thats not the Orthodox teaching about God, God may have allowed it but certainly did not bring evil it. I am sure there many here who know more then me about answering your statement you have made and I would also like to have that answered in a deeper theological response.

Peace.
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