by Dr Gonzo
Why would God give us free will? He already knows who will choose Him. Faith is the glue.
|Fate and faith are topics I am fascinated by. I often seek to gain knowledge from others wiser than myself to do with these subjects, but not being a man of faith myself, yet, not a denier of a higher power either, does create many questions for me. But unfortunately, not a lot of answers come my way...at least, not answers I can easily accept.|
Sitting on the fence between science and religion is a balancing act, and I wonder whether this is a strength or a weakness? My ambivalence towards jumping on someone else's bandwagon, then calling it my own. A want for something, without any idea what that something is, brings many opinions my way, but unfortunately, not as many facts. To just accept what someone tells me, based purely on faith (or for that matter, on theory), is not thinking, it's following, and I am not a follower...at least, not without conviction.
When it comes to organised religion, there would be many benefits of being associated with other like-minded people. There is strength in numbers and advantages in knowing those who are skilled tradesmen or the like...networking in its original form. Also, gaining confidence in 'the fact' that 'we are right' and 'they are wrong'. Not to mention the promise of an eternal life in paradise, which is the carrot, and alternatively, eternal damnation as the proverbial stick.
And so, here is my conundrum...when I come to an intersection, I can choose left or right (or continue straight ahead), which depends on where I am going. This decision I make has consequences attached...just as when a smoker lights up a pack a day for a lifetime or a piece of space debris falls out of the sky and lands on a random person. If I had turned a different way, a different outcome would be mine. The smoker might just live a long life...or not so long. And, if Mr/Ms Random hadn't pressed snooze that morning, they wouldn't have been at that exact spot when the space junk came down.
Free will doesn't quite make us masters of our own destiny, but it does give us choices...choices we must live and sometimes die by. Free will and fate, at least for a human, can live side by side because we don't know when we wake up in the morning if that day is to be our last...or a million other mostly unpredictable events that might happen. But, assuming there actually is a God...one who is all-seeing and knowing, then God already knows which way I turn, and every turn I have and will ever make until the day I die. And, if this is so, it certainly sounds like my fate is already set...at least, in God's eyes.
And this is where I have a problem...why would God give us free will, along with the ultimatum that unless we choose Him we are condemned to hell. It seems, at least to me, that He already knows our choices...left or right...Him or hell. This could be seen as a whole lot of unnecessary hoo-hah...where He could have just cut to the chase by not creating any non-believers, and in doing so, not bothered with free will at all...considering He has prior knowledge of our choices and so-called free will.
It is at best a game, and at worst, insider trading. Only it isn't shares or Bitcoins that are up for grabs, it's our souls. My personal view is (assuming there is a heaven), that I would rather everyone be let into heaven, no matter our human flaws, after all, it was God who gave us those flaws in the first place. Surely we can be forgiven for not being a believer.
A classic example would be a pedophile priest. This so-called man of God, who destroys the lives of the innocent and causes so much harm, can and will be forgiven for his sins. And IF this is so, then surely, a person who leads a life of much lesser sin, could be forgiven? Perhaps they could be given a choice where God, who is standing at the gates of heaven, asks which way that person wants to go? I doubt many would choose eternal damnation over paradise. I cannot see how destroying the lives of innocent children...taking advantage of God's name by committing unspeakable crimes against the innocent, could possibly be seen as a lesser sin than having doubt about if there is, or is not a higher power.
I do wonder if those who believe in a certain doctrine, for instance, those who interpret the bible, would look kindly at that choice (after the fact) being given to unbelievers. After all, we didn't follow the rules while we were still alive, so why should we be allowed into the kingdom of God, once the truth is revealed?
I have always wondered what will become of all the other people...not just non-believers, but those who believe in a different God to the Christian one. It seems there will be more in hell than are in heaven...and it just doesn't appear fair or what a loving God would do.
Perhaps it would have been a better gift if we were given free will without the terms and conditions attached...a God who didn't know all and waited to see who chose Him instead of knowing this before we do ourselves. I think it sucks that He knows, yet still allows us to live until, if we don't choose Him, we suffer eternal damnation...I mean, why bother to create us in the first place, then give us free will knowing which of us won't choose Him?
Why condemn a person who may have lived a good life, with all of the core values a Christian is supposed to have, but because they aren't a Christian, receive eternal damnation for their efforts? Yet, a Christian, who let's face it, is only human and would have done things he will need to be forgiven for, gets first-class all the way to heaven. There is something just not right about that. I cannot say what is right because like every single person on this earth (regardless of their beliefs), we simply don't know.
I get that Christian values are a good way to live, it's just this whole heaven and hell thing and who deserves it and who doesn't, based on a belief system that coincidentally, is not dissimilar to most others, and yet, the irony is that every major religious system says they are the only way to gain entry to heaven.
I admit that I don't know about many things, but I do know they can't all be right, and perhaps none of them are. But, exclusivity along with a little (or a lot of) arrogance...a belief of who knows who is, and who is not getting paradise, and instead will receive eternal damnation, is for me, almost laughable. Well, it would be, if there was no chance Christian beliefs are right. I suppose they have just as much of a chance as anyone else of being correct.
And next up, I would like to examine tithing and what benefits it might provide to those who are hoping to get into heaven. For example, does giving more, gain you more? Such as where in heaven a person resides? Does it have a second bathroom or views toward God's place of residence? And is it true that God loves a cheerful giver more than a miserly one?
More on this and many other complex questions coming soon.
On the seventh day, God was resting...
He gazed down upon Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden when he turned to his angels and said...
"I'm not watching the rest...I already know how it ends."