|Posted: 09 September 2023 at 12:41pm | IP Logged | 1
Sorry Mark (and JB), I am not pretending to misunderstand the contradiction --- I am truly confused by the question.
As I understand it, free will is the right to chose to not obey the divine plan and go your own way. Lucifer did this and he now reigns in Hell, having been banished from Heaven. That's why Pride is the cardinal sin.
With regards to the New Testament (I have not read the Old yet), Hell is presented as our default destination without salvation---not technically a punishment.
Not a ton is said about it (eternal fire, gnashing of teeth, ...), and I was initially surprised to learn that most popular notions of Hell come from "fan fiction", e.g. Dante and Milton.
Am I on point?
I think most complaints against Judaeo-Christian beliefs is that folks think it's a terrible "system" at face value. Since they can imagine something akin to Heaven-on-Earth/Everyone-Wins, then why wouldn't an all-powerful, loving god have made our lives an automatic paradise? Why even allow man the capacity to sin? What is the point of Free Will? Why is there evil? Why have life be so difficult? Most would much prefer "Easy Mode", if you please.
Truthfully, those questions are beyond me. As Tolkien would say, I am not one of "the Wise".
All I can say by analogy is that, as a parent, there is something incredible when you send your child out into the wild and wicked world and he or she chooses to return "home" in some sense. Were that a programmable drone, and not a human being, the return would be unspectacular. The choice is everything.
As an aerospace engineer, I struggle daily with trying to figure out how pieces of the physical world interact and how to design systems that are robust to uncertainty while operating in the distant vacuum of space. I wrestle with my ignorance and limited intellectually capacity constantly. I can say with certainty, I am not up to the task of designing a better world for us all. I know my limits. All of my "tweaks" would be stupid, self-serving, and petty. You can all be quite thankful that running the Universe not on my shoulders. I think we all lack the capacity to see "The Big PIcture" (if you accept there is one).
The workings of the world can be so overwhelming at times---so beyond our kin---that it is very tempting to decide it's "completely random". That's ultimately your choice.
Edited by Steven Queen on 09 September 2023 at 12:49pm