Why would God create a soul he knows will go to Hell?
INPEFESS,

I'm sorry it has taken so long for me to respond to this post of yours, but here it is.

(02-26-2011, 02:32 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: Although I already provided a few justice-related thoughts on the matter, I found a different approach to the question that expounds upon the point of your post while perusing an apologetic work popular in the 1940s. Fathers Rumble and Carty provide a very insightful commentary on this question, which is found in the Second Volume of Radio Replies, P.170:

Q.708 Wrote:If God knows a soul is to be damned, it is useless for that soul to try to attain salvation.

There is no predestination for damnation. Nor is it futile for an individual to endeavor to save his soul. God says even to the worst sinners, “Repent, and if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as snow” (Isaiah I., 18). If a man is lost, it will be solely through his own fault. God may know that certain souls will choose to damn themselves, but He knows they have not got to do so, nor does His knowledge make them do so. Knowledge [of an event] doesn’t cause an event; the event causes knowledge [of the event]. Because Jack is running I know that he is running. But he certainly isn’t running because I know it. God knows that a man will choose to lose his soul only because that man will so choose. There is no need for him to choose so disastrously. He receives sufficient grace for his conversion. Let him correspond with the voice of God and of conscience, repenting of his sins, and he will be saved. It is not futile for him to endeavor to save his soul, and if he is lost it will be precisely because he did not endeavor to do so. Just imagine a farmer who says: God knows whether I’m going to have a crop or not. If He knows, I’ll have it, whatever I do. If He knows that I won’t have it, I won’t have it, whatever I do. So I won’t plough, I won’t sow any seed, it’s futile. Such a man is working on the absurd idea that knowledge causes the event instead of realizing that the event causes knowledge of it. Let us all do our best in the service of God, the practice of extra virtue, the avoiding of sin, and the desire of holiness. If we do, the practical result will be our salvation. The solution of the speculative problems can safely be left to God.

This leaves the problem entirely unanswered.  In fact, it dodges the question by dismissing it with "God is God, and we are not, so we can't possibly understand this."  I don't like that solution.  It's the one given most often when this question comes up.

I worry sometimes that I'm being presumptuous in rejecting that answer.  An emotion like that does seem to arise, but I act to suppress it because I really think there is a better  answer, and God cannot possibly think that it is wrong to seek for one.  Furthermore, my motive in seeking for one is not to question God's wisdom or something outlandish like that.  I think that the better answer would help people to believe in the Christian God more readily...

(02-26-2011, 02:32 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: I would only like to comment on a technical aspect of the word choice “event”. By “event”, Fathers Rumble and Carty do not necessarily restrict its meaning to an event bound within the parameters of linear time; they are referring to the effect of a cause, a relationship which isn’t necessarily confined to the limitations of linear time. For man, the execution of free will, though it is a power existing outside of time, is necessarily manifested in time. For God, however, the execution of this power is not limited to the confines of time, for God is not subject to a symbiotic relationship of body and soul.

I do not think that this is a solution either.  Thinking of time as a dimension that possesses measurable extension is not necessary to solve this problem, and it only introduces paradoxes such as the following:  if the cosmos is extended along a dimension (time) but was created by a being for whom this dimension is of no consequence, there is no manner in which that being, rationally, would be able to exist in a causative relationship with the cosmos he created.

Now you might argue that God's omnipotence is able to anything, even that which is irrational.  I do not accept that as a valid principle.  If God is not able to create a cosmos with which he can interact on the basis of what he establishes as real, then I don't see what the point is of creating rationality in the first place.

(02-26-2011, 02:32 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: In short, this means that the execution of the power of free will is made outside of time, though, for man, this execution is manifested in time. But it is not as if God is sitting on a some throne outside of time looking at these manifestations of our free will in time and then deciding whether or not to create us in the first place based on these soon-to-be manifestations of which we have no knowledge. God does not have knowledge of our choices because He sees that we will one day choose them. Though there are certain biological processes taking place in the medium of time that usually affect what we will choose, these time-restricted processes are not how God knows what we will choose. The actual execution of the supernatural power of free will outside of time is how God knows what we have chosen; these choices but await manifestation in time so that we know what we have chosen.

I do not see why the freedom of human beings cannot be exercised from within the cosmos....  What you say here almost sounds like creation was created by God as something completely incapable of "handling" the special features of significant beings within itself.  You're basically speaking from the point of view of the Platonic principle of the radical distinction between physicality and a "higher," more real world (I guess the spiritual in the present context).

I for one do not see the need for such a principle.  Why must there be an "eternal realm" and a "temporal realm"?  I have never encountered a satisfactory justification for this hypothesis.

That is really one of my reasons for having this problem about divine knowledge and human freedom.  It is a serious paradox in the context of a Platonic/Augustinian view which would demand a real and radical distinction between the created and the creator, a distinction so great that the creator does not even share anything similar to the personal perspective of each of his creatures (who are in some "time dimension" radically set apart from the eternal).

(02-26-2011, 02:32 AM)INPEFESS Wrote: It is important for us to experience these manifestations of our free will because, without time as a medium, we could not learn from our mistakes, repent, do penance for the sins of our past, or see the effects of our choices in life. But without factoring in time as a necessary condition of free will, we struggle to understand exactly how this cause-effect relationship works, for we have never known anything but that which is limited to the parameters of the dimensional box by which our minds are temporally restricted. To us, even while acknowledging the existence of an incomprehensibly minute micro-interval of time, the cause must come before the effect in time. Without the dimension of time as a factor, we are left with the imagination of a purely static reality in which a cause precipitates an effect without the former happening before the latter on a linear timescale. In this time-absent reality, the same choice is always being made and still being made by a power existing outside of time. This is a mind-boggling metaphysical reality, but it is a reality that must be acknowledged when considering why God would create a soul He knows would “choose” hell. The question then becomes: When does the soul really choose hell?

Two realities.  Both are rationally incommensurate with one another, and yet they must be commensurate for the sake of our theology!

This concept of time as an extended dimension capable of being segmented in real ways does not work out rationally because its logical consequence is the infinite regress paradox within its own set.  Yet such is the description of the cosmos because the cosmos exhibits changeability, and we think that changeability must have this dimension (time) in which to operate.  On the other hand, the static, "eternal realm" cannot contain anything other than a kind of eternally unchanging singularity.  You rightly say "this is a mind-boggling metaphysical reality."

The above is the result of imposing certain rationalistic categories of thought upon the real.  What you get is contradictions and paradoxes precisely because the real is not like what these categories demand.

God must be as dynamic and active as the cosmos He created.  I think that is the key idea  to solving the problem of divine knowledge and human freedom.  But I don't have to time to write about and explore this at the moment.
Reply


Messages In This Thread
Re: Why would God create a soul he knows will go to Hell? - by Zakhur - 03-02-2011, 11:12 PM



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)