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If God knows the future, that means He knows some people will end up eternally suffering in hell. Isn't this a contradiction since God is good? Why doesn't God change these people, or make it so they are never born (if God is all possible he could do that).

marked as duplicate by curiousdannii, David Stratton Nov 17 '14 at 12:36

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  • I think this question is a good one, the answer is in the area of free will. God knows ahead of time, but if He only created the beings that would choose Him, it would be along the lines or making robots. Hell and the Lake were not made for humans, the Bible says. A human has to choose to go there themselves. This is free will. – Hello Nov 17 '14 at 16:05
  • I do not see this as a duplicate, as the referenced question "Why do evil, suffering exist?" does not touch on the topics of foreknowledge. Nor do I see any related questions on the right side bar that includes evil and foreknowledge, nor do my searches of "evil know future" reveal any. Please enlighten us. – Fred Oakman Nov 17 '14 at 20:03
  • The question you are asking is the question of theodicy, stated slightly differently: If God is all knowing (omniscient), all powerful (omnipotent) and all good (omnibenevolent), then how could evil exist/how could He send people to Hell/why did he create us capable of sinning. That question's answers address this. Omniscience is the foreknowledge portion of the question, and if you search for theodicy, omnipotence, omniscience, evil, or any combination of those, you'll find that the same question has been asked several times in slightly different ways. – David Stratton Nov 17 '14 at 22:26
  • This question could have been closed for at least three other reasons. I chose this one so that you could see how it was answered already because I thought it would be more helpful than closing it as opinion based, or as general philosophical question without a proper denominational scope, or as a Truth question. – David Stratton Nov 17 '14 at 22:31
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You assume the apparent truism, that God can do anything, which is a logical fallacy. If God can do anything, then he can do the impossible, therefore nothing is impossible. Yet this would leave us with an absurd world. God could cease to exist, and yet also exist. He could violate the law of non-contradiction, he could make a rock so big he couldn't lift its, ....

Instead, take a reasonable, not absurd view of God. Perhaps it was impossible for God to create people who could freely reject him, and yet not have at least some people reject him. It's like offering a free lunch, yet being impossible to guarantee that some people will choose to go hungry.

Secondly, the general view is that though God knew some would reject him and go to hell, there is no evidence to suggest that He could have created a better world in which fewer people would reject him. This is Charles Finney's approach in his "Systematic Theology" book, or see section V point 4 in http://www.gospeltruth.net/1836SOIS/10sois_election.htm

Yet Finney, like most, bases his ideas on a belief in the unchangeableness of God, see the same article.(immutability)

Others, noting that "God changed his mind" dozens of time in the Bible, assert that the future is in fact full of possible actions, instead of inalterable events. Therefore God only knows who possibly will go to hell, because the future is only a possibility. You can read more about this from Greg Boyd and "God of the Possible."

  • Please check to see if a question is a duplicate before answering this. This particular question has been asked in various guises a bunch of times. Also, this question should have been closed because it's a general philosophical question, and isn't asking for a doctrinal perspective. Another reason not to answer in the first place, but rather to vote to close. You answered well based on reasoning, but this site isn't about that. See this post for an explanation of why. – David Stratton Nov 17 '14 at 18:39
  • To clarify, I agree with you, but the question itself is not fit for the site, and therefore answering it is not appropriate. – David Stratton Nov 17 '14 at 18:40
  • Thank you for your kind comments, I am still fairly new here. I thought the question dealt with foreknowledge and evil, which seems to me to be more theological than philosophical. As I commented above, I still do not see a relevant question that deals with both topics. Answering the problem of evil without reference to foreknowledge is insufficient, as well as asserting God's foreknowledge without reference to evil and God's character, also seems to be missing the point. Can you suggest a rewrite? – Fred Oakman Nov 17 '14 at 20:11

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