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God knows, before even creating Earth, which people would choose Him on Earth and eventually go to Heaven. Therefore, God could just create these people and choose not to create the people who will go to Hell.

Furthermore, because God is all-powerful, He could instantly implant all the spiritual growth, experiences, knowledge, etc. that these people would have gotten on Earth into their minds in Heaven - making the need for the experience/journey we go through on Earth unnecessary.

Therefore, why would God create Earth as a "testing phase" for humans to grow, learn, and choose Him, when He can already have Heaven now with free humans that will love and serve Him? He could bypass all the suffering and evil in the world by doing this and achieve the same end result - a Heaven where all the people, of their own free will, love Him, serve Him, and share in His beautiful creation.

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    I think this question makes a lot of assumptions about what means are best and what goods ought to be preferred. could we actually demonstrate that God implanting moral virtue rather than morally developing it is better?
    – Luke Hill
    Jul 21, 2023 at 22:00
  • In the method I described, God is not implanting moral virtue, He is simply giving the person all the knowledge/experiences they would've gotten on Earth. And because he is all powerful, He could perfectly replicate all the benefits, knowledge, spiritual growth, etc. that a person would've gained on Earth. The reason I said God could just do this instead is because otherwise people will say "the pain and suffering that humans go through on Earth is necessary for them to grow in spirit and love of God and freely choose Him". My method eliminates the need for the suffering, thus, it is better.
    – Jonathan
    Jul 21, 2023 at 23:04
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    This is a philosophical inquiry and not a matter of Christianity.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 22, 2023 at 1:19
  • @Jonathan again, can you demonstrate that implantation is morally superior as opposed to the alternative? I think that’s pretty hard to prove.
    – Luke Hill
    Jul 22, 2023 at 5:17
  • @LukeHill I am not sure what you mean exactly. Implantation would get the same end result as allowing a person to develop on Earth. I don't think it matters whether implantation itself is morally superior or not, it gets the same end result without the need to actually create Earth or the suffering in the universe. Since Heaven is infinitely more good than Earth, there really is no downside in skipping the Earth phase and going directly to Heaven.
    – Jonathan
    Jul 22, 2023 at 7:32

2 Answers 2

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I applaud you for asking tough questions but there is a logical break in your question that I would like to try and point out.

"He could instantly implant all the spiritual growth, experiences, knowledge, etc. that these people would have gotten on Earth into their minds in Heaven - making the need for the experience/journey we go through on Earth unnecessary." - OP

God cannot create someone with an experience that has never actually happened because, if He did, He could not then have foreknown it. If God foreknows everything from before creation then He foreknew, for instance, all the selfish thoughts and behavior that would plague my heart and drive me to the Lord Jesus Christ. If, however, he created me in a way that I never had any selfish thoughts or behavior but only an experience of having had them, how can He have foreknown me having them?

In other words if God foresees something happening that never actually happens then God has not actually foreseen it. Such an activity would nullify the notion of foresight altogether and makes God out to be wrong, at best. This is why prior to creation, having foreseen all, He chose to send a Savior rather than to not create what He had foreseen.

A heaven filled with people who believe they have experienced things that never really happened? God does not play pretend. I hope this helps.

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  • The problem with your line of reasoning is that if God foresaw all the troubles that mankind would suffer through and set the process in motion He is responsible for evil. Instead God can choose not to exercise His foreknowledge and then respond to the Good or bad done by creatures with free will!
    – Kris
    Jul 22, 2023 at 14:31
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    @User14 A wrong conclusion has been jumped to. The responsibility for evil is entirely that of the one who turned himself into an accuser and a liar and a murderer - the father (originator) of all such evil, said Jesus. But because God is Sovereign, he chose to give righteous judgment against that evil one by allowing sin to run its course, so that at no future time would there be any basis for a repetition of such a challenge to his Sovereignty, but without becoming a dictator. Righteous judgment is at back of this issue. It is blasphemy to accuse God of evil, which Satan does.
    – Anne
    Jul 22, 2023 at 17:29
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    @User 14 That is your opinion, which seems to be based on a particular interpretation of what you think 'free will' is. Many Christians do not share that idea about free will, having a far higher view of God's Sovereign right to deal with sin and suffering than you seem to be aware of. But this site is not for airing personal opinions. You asked a question, and when answers point to logical reasons based on what God has revealed to us in scripture, that is not personal opinion.
    – Anne
    Jul 22, 2023 at 18:54
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    The Jehovah's Witness opinion that God exercises "selective foreknowledge", that He decides not to see certain future events, is based on the false idea that God did not know from before the founding of the world that sin would enter into the world and that He would deal with it through the Word becoming flesh. That view is contrary to Scripture. Either God is who He says He is in the Bible - a God who will never condone sin and turn a blind eye to it - or He is not the Almighty.
    – Lesley
    Jul 23, 2023 at 7:04
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    @User 14 The problem with that understanding is that the Bible says He knows the end from the beginning and does not qualify that with the notion of 'selective'. Creating with full foreknowledge of all the evil that would occur only magnifies His amazing love once we know that the Lamb was slain first in order to take away the sin of the world. This happened once "in time" but has always been in eternity, otherwise Jesus is just a back up plan to deal with stuff God didn't see coming. Jul 23, 2023 at 12:40
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The question of whether God could simply "fast forward" earth and simply create free creatures who obey Him was recently asked on this site, so for the sake of answering the first part of the question I'm going to assume that that's not possible and time on Earth is necessary.

This then leaves the first question - could God not just create the people He knows will obey him, and not create the ones who won't be saved? I believe the answer is no, for a couple of reasons:

1: The circumstances that lead to someone following Christ almost always include interactions with someone who does not follow Him. For example, some may have become Christian after seeing for themselves the fates of those who led lives of sin and eg died from substance abuse. We have no way of telling what the consequences of such eugenics would be on society, and maybe if God were to only create the people who would be saved in our current world, many of them wouldn't be saved after all.

2: The freedom God has given us includes our children. Could Ghandi have been born in Australia in 2023? Could Mother Teresa have been born in Britain in 1200 BC? I am not inclined to believe that God places a soul in a person such that who they are is fixed based on that initial seed with no relation to how they are raised and their experiences.

One possibility some have considered is that perhaps God could have created a world in which everyone was saved, but due to human nature such a world could only have contained maybe 200 people, and with any more than that someone would always fall away.

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  • God can see the future and every single person that he will accept into Heaven. God could just create these people and start Heaven right now. While it is true that "bad" people may have influenced the good people, it is not necessary for God to create these bad people. He can just give the good people all the experiences they would've had with these bad people (the experiences that may have led to them choosing God and becoming "good") in Heaven. God does not need to create Earth or allow all the interactions on Earth because He can directly create the good people.
    – Jonathan
    Jul 22, 2023 at 2:39
  • If God created Earth 300 where only 300 people existed, and he saw that only 250 would go to Heaven, he can just create these people and give them the knowledge, experience, and everything else they would have gained on Earth 300. He does not need to create the other 50 people (or even Earth 300 because he can see the future) who are doomed, but he still ends with a Heaven full of the same people that would've been saved that freely love him/serve him.
    – Jonathan
    Jul 22, 2023 at 2:43
  • @Jonathan the question of whether God could just create people already developed and "good" has already been recently covered on this site, hence my presupposition for the question Jul 22, 2023 at 11:58
  • Can you link me to that question because I can't find it? Also, in my comment I was showing you how your point 1 isn't true and using that analogy of the 200 people.
    – Jonathan
    Jul 22, 2023 at 22:00

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