Friday, May 18, 2007

Predestination, God's will and all that...

Had some fairly interesting discussions over the last few weeks at VETA about what it actually means for God to have a plan for our lives, and for the world, cos it's a phrase that gets thrown around a lot, but we don't always get to unpack.

Did God create evil? If not, how did Satan/the Devil/forces of evil, come into being? Does God know everything, that's ever going to happen, like me writing this blog post right now etc. How reliable is the Bible about what it tells us about the future-more Revelation questions! Did God decide before time began who would and wouldn't become followers of Jesus etc...

The problem with being the facilitator of this course is I feel like I should have some clue about these questions, but often don't! Got a few ideas, but not the whole lot!


Jono said...

I don't think, as the course facilitator, that you have to know any of this stuff, especially when nobody knows it. I am a very philosophical thinker, and I always think about these sortts of things, and never get answers. Maybe the answers just can't be answered by us, like how we can't copmprehend what is beyond the edgte of the universe, or whether there even is an edge to the universe. Wow, just thinking about it makes me freak out. If there is no edge to the universe, then what is out there? Foreverness? Foreverness of what? Nothing? How can you have infinite nothingness? Can the human mind comprehend infinity, truely? No. I don't think so. Maybe that's why we don't have the answers to these sorts of questions. On the other hand, mathematical questions have answers that we can understand. Unless infinity is involved. Then we have to hide behind a stupid eight that has fallen over, and calls itself infinity,and say that you can't divide by zero. But you CAN divide by zero. There is no such thing as an asymtope. I have been trying to tell my teacher this all year. And failing.
Anyway, you probably don't know what I'm on about, so I will stop here, while I'm ahead. Or behind. Or asymtoping below y=0.

B.C. said...

My philosophy subject (full of ignorant hateful atheists who judge without knowing) concerns the existence of God, and some of the arguments use the existence of evil as reasons for why God cannot exist. Eg. God is a perfectly good being. God is omnipotent. Perfectly good omnipotent beings will operate to get rid of evil. There is evil in the world. Therefore, no God. A very simplified argument, but that's its essential core. And I don't think it's right.

I think that evil exists because God lets it exist. I think God lets people decide to follow him, instead of make it so there is only him to follow. Therefore, alternatives, such as Satan and evil also exist, because it is one's own choice to make as to where he wants his life to lead.

Also, I don't know about the God knowing everything stuff. There is that argument that he is also omniscient, but then if God wanted us to be free, why would he predetermine everything? Perhaps God has just made a whole lot of options we can choose, and knows how each of them will turn out, or what further options they will present. But... I don't know.

Finally. Jono is an idiot, and betrays the sacred art of mathematics. You cannot divide by zero. Call me blind to the teachings of Specialist Maths. But we will crush you.

Anonymous said...

I'll do a short version...haha I have the question, what is the point of living our lives if God knows all and knows which choice etc we are going to make? Like if he knows this stuff then why even bother thinking about it?

karyn said...

I sometimes try to explain a medical concept to a lay person and realise that without giving them 12 years background, the concept is just to beyond them. Not to say they lack intellegence, they've just been educated in an area in which I would be equally ignorant. Then I think of some of the big questions I'd like to ask God (who's knowledge is very obviously greater than mine) and I can imagine Him patting me on the back and saying "Karyn, I'd Like to explain, but you just wouldn't understand"
It's kind of nice to just relax and know that I don't have all of the answers and I don't need to.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% - thats wat faith is, though i still like to ask :-)

some girl said...

Yeah, I agree with Jono, I don't think you have to know all this stuff especially if no one does. In fact it's probably better that you don't. And I can't explain why, just is.

Foreverness also makes me freak out. I think too much. Bad thing? I decide no.

I was reading a book by C.S. Lewis the other day, and it was a good book, though at parts just seemed like an avenue for Lewis's theologies, anyway the whole book is basically an allusion to the beginning of Earth and Adam&Eve etc... but what I got out of it was that God created this forbidden thing so that we would obey him fully. What use is it if we obey him, when obeying him is just doing what we want to do because there is nothing bad in the world?
The tree that Eve ate the fruit from seemed like something she should be able to do, but God had forbidden it, and only by forbidding something that may not have been (in and of itself) evil, could he have us truly obey him. Which we didn't anyway. In the book they did.

Don't know if that made sense, the book probably explains it better.

I don't know about predestination. I believe that we have free will, and God just knows what decisions we will make, and what would happen if we made other decisions, or what would happen if he intervened on our decisions.
But then why doesn't he intervene a whole lot more on our bad choices?

Anywho, I'll never know the answer to that. Just like I'll never know the answer to 5 divided by 0.
I think numbers can be divided by zero, it's just that no ones knows the answer.

I think Digger should give ME a present at Bree's wedding. In the form of clothes I haven't seen for a term.

Digger said...

Man, so many comments to reply to at once. Yeah I know it's true I don't need to know everything about this, but it's still a bit annoying always being like 'eh', but it happens.

Yeah I think there's definitely a whole lot of things we're just never going to get, which can be really empowering, but can also suck.

Like maths that is, sucks. Pretty much haven't used anything I learnt past year 8 since I was in school.

Yeah my take on the predestination stuff at the moment is that God has some plans and directions He/She would like us to go, but doesn't make us follow them.

Yeah good point Mitchy, i think much the same thing. If it's all worked out then why bother? We're just puppets on a string...

Digger said...

Yeah yeah, know what you mean with that one Karyn.

Yeah C.S. Lewis is a good kid, think I kinda get what ur talking about there with that one Em.

Foreverness is just whack, as is the whole God existing forever before the world etc.

Christop said...

Yeah, I wonder sometimes whether it might have been necessary for human beings to go through evil, and experience just how bad it is, and maybe God allowed us to go that way because otherwise we wouldn't be free. Yeah, dunno.

With Revelation, I don't think much of it's about the future, I think it's mostly about stuff that was going on at the time the book was written. (But then again, I think the same kinds of things are still going on now - people don't change that much.)

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