27 April 2008

Is God responsible for...?

Some people thank God for their good fortune, and some blame Him for their misfortune. Most Christian Doctrine teaches us that thanking Him is expected, but that blaming Him is near blasphemous. I don't see how one can exist without the other. If God is responsible for the successes of a person's life, then he must be responsible for their failures, not solely, but at least equally. You cannot assign fault after the outcome; if God is in any way responsible for a series of events, then He must be given, and accept, His share of the responsibility of the outcome, because it would be a result (directly, indirectly, solely or in part) of His actions.

Another thought: if man is governed by predestination or religious-based fate, God must be solely and ultimately responsible for all things. But if we have the gift of choice, as I believe we do, how much blame or praise does God deserve, given that any occurence is the result of the definite actions of various people from a pool of infinite choice and therefore infinite possibility, otherwise ungoverned?


Robbie said...

Point 1: Playing devils advocate one might propose that since God is infallible according to Christian Doctrine then he is responsible for the good things, but the bad things are due to our inherit sins.

Point 2: The concept of free will, or "gift of choice," as you put it is a tricky one that I have approached several times. For me the problem is: given that God is all knowing (1 John 3:20) he knows what choices we will make for our entire lives. If he already knows everyone’s futures and plans accordingly how can we as humans have free will? While I don't bring the issue of blame into the equation I think the underlying issue remains constant. Is God responsible for our choices, thus is deserving of praise and/or blame, or are we responsible.

The only explanation I have heard that made any sort of sense was this: we as humans have free will to make our own choices, yet God knows what those choices will be. It is as if God is watching our lives like a rerun. He knows what will happen, but cannot (more likely will not) change the outcome. In this scenario we are still making our own choices and God still knows everything that will happen. If this is the case then the praise/blame lies with us and not God. God merely facilitates our lives, but the mistakes are ours to make and our accomplishments come from our own decisions.

jared david said...

on point one:
being infallible doesn't relinquish Him of responsibility. like i originally wrote, responsibility is given before and despite the outcome, that is, at least, our definition of the word. also, good and bad is based on our perception, not God's. He would probably call the flood a good thing, most people on the ground would disagree.

on point two:
the passage you cited refers mostly to the truth and love of God, but to take 'all-knowing' at face value, knowledge itself is a present state of being; how can you know something before it happens? because until it happens, it may or may not. God is called the omniscient, omnipresent divine being, but simply being everywhere and knowing everything doesn't expressly mean that He can see the future.

there is mention of 'God's plan' in the Bible, and that "There is no 'chance' in God's empire. 'Chance' is only another word for our want of knowledge as to the way in which one event falls in with another (1 Sam. 6:9; Eccl. 9:11)." if you accept this as truth, then God not only knows what happens, he is the puppeteer of all existence. that i do not believe, because elsewhere in the bible choice is mentioned (although i can't think of a specific passage and my boss is back and i need to go soon)...also, God asks us for things, and sometimes God is disobeyed, and he is saddened, and punishes people. why would he script life so that people behave that way? God is supposedly just and righteous, he wants us all to be in His kingdom because we are His children, if he truly does want us all in His kingdom, as the Bible says (again, in a major hurry) then he wouldn't allow us to go to Hell, but people do. whatever.