Below is a Conversation I had with one of my theist's friends friends on facebook. I thought was interesting and telling.
My Friend's Status:The potter wants to put you back together again.
Me: after he created me broke to begin with? He was inadequate then, how do I trust that he is adequate now?
Me: I couldn't resist. Its sunday.
Theist Friend 1:He didn't create you broken, you broke yourself. Couldn't resist, it's Sunday :)
Me: Indeed. Did i really break myself? Because as I recall I was born into sin because of Eve ate a fruit and dared find knowledge 10000-6000 years ago. So I was screwed before I even came into being through no fault of mine own. One would think if god wanted to keep me "fixed", he would not have made the tree to begin with as a temptation. Which is brings up the question why make the tree? Was it a test?
Theist Friend 2 (Theist friend 1 never responded Back): It was a test of obedience, but through manipulation of the serpent, Eve was tempted and partook of the fruit of the tree... then went on to tempt Adam into eating it, too. They should have had stronger willpower, more faith in God and his word...
Me: Indeed stranger. A test of obedience. Why does one test someone else? Why do teachers test their students? To find out what they learned right? The reason the teacher needs to find out what students learned is because he/she does NOT already know. Now take that and add replace god as the teacher and we as the students. God wanted to see if we would disobey him. Why would God, which is by definition omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, need to find something out that he already knows. He knew mankind would disobey beforehand. You test something to get an answer you don't already possess. God knows everything already therefore he has no need to test anyone because he already what they are capable of and what they would do. So he knew eve and adam would fall before he made the tree. Just like he knew beforehand what Abraham would do with Isaac which was kill him. So there is no need to test. So another question why does god test people when he already knows what they are capable of?
Theist Friend 2: Everything can be seen as a learning experience - truly, all tests from God are meant to mold and shape us in some way. Think of it like a blacksmith making a sword. In order to take out the impurities of the metal, to make it better, it has to be put to the fire and shaped... tests from God are just his way of putting us to the fire to shape us into people who truly live for God. Teachers test to document progress, maybe God does the same with us. As for Abraham and Isaac, he tested Abraham's faith, dedication, and obedience. The son, the child, he and his wife so desperately longed for was finally here and the one who blessed them with their son told him to kill the boy. Abraham passed the test with his unwavering faith, and God rewarded him by stopping him before he killed the boy.However, you bring up the argument that many people are constantly divided over: predestination versus free will. Does God give us tests, already knowing the outcome? Does God put us on this world and hope we choose Him? It does give one food for thought...
Me: "truly, all tests from God are meant to mold and shape us in some way. "
That may be the case after the fall but before it, it makes no sense . Everything was near perfect before the fall, but after it got a lot worse. So to use your analogy, god put us through the fire and put impurities in us. He didn't take them out. And about Abraham and Isaac. God already knew abraham's faith was unwavering. Would it not have made more moral sense to do away with the test and tell Abraham straight up that god had seen his heart and find it pleasing to him and thus blessed him with all the things following the almost human sacrifice?
Theist Friend 2: Again, it's all depending on what you believe - if it's free will or predestination. Personally, I believe a mix of the two. My theory is that God knows how the story ends, but how one gets there is a mystery... as if he's a man of chance and likes to sit back and watch things unfold out for himself, like a good drama on TV. That's my only way of even attempting to explain any of it to myself.For instance, I don't think God knew what Satan was going to do to Job, he just knew that Satan wouldn't harm him (at first) or kill him (the later stipulation)... just a friendly wager between to old adversaries with God having a slight upper hand. God knew Job's faith, but wanted to see how much the man would or could endure and then blessed him many times over for his troubles.It all depends on what or how you believe things work, really... That's just my interpretation (which is totally fallible, since I'm only human.)
Me: Well. If that's the case then god is hardly omni-benevolent. To think that he would allow things to happen, even terrible things to the someone loves and fully trusts god as with Job, just for his amusement, that is hardly a loving gad as the bible says he is? Do you disagree? God seems more like the Greek or Roman gods who toyed with humans for their amusement. This "friendly wager" ended with the death of Job's family after all. I mean that's like torturing and killing someone and justifying it by saying "Ah, he was a christian so I was doing him a favor by sending him to his maker early." It doesn't matter that job got goodies for his pain. he was mentally and physically tortured for a game. If looking at it that way is what it takes for god to make sense then.............okay dude.