God already planned our lives, and we are merely just going along with the script. What say you?

Oceanic

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I want to start off by saying, yes, by the title, I am suggesting we may be living in a simulation- BUT one that is created by God himself. I have seen many Bible verses suggesting we're just acting as he wants us to because everything is simply a story- a meaningful story. So in other words, if we have free will, it's just slight. Our outcomes have already been determined.

Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."

I don't think many people have had this thought pop up in their mind: "If God says he created good, then how would good have the choice to be evil if it was meant to be good?"

Let's put this into perspective: If I make a square cake, it would not have the option to suddenly form into cupcakes.

We are just a story, everyone, including angels and demons, have been created with a script.

Why does God have a specific chosen people? Why did God purposely harden Pharaoh's heart? Why do the Seraph angels continue to say "Holy Holy Holy" without being able to stop, and have no other purpose but to praise God? Why did God say he would put a spirit of anger into the world leaders so they can destroy Babylon? Simple. Because he is in control; he is the author writing what he wants to happen.

And the only ones getting a happy ending are his chosen ones whom, by the way, HE chooses. I have heard Christians say, "It's your choice if you want to go to heaven or not!" No it's not. It's God's choice. Whoever is fortunate enough will be chosen and if they're chosen that means they have played the role of being a faithful servant because that's what their character was created to do. One cannot send themselves to hell or heaven, did you forget we are mere fragile human beings who can easily get killed by simple weather conditions?

"So are you saying this is all for entertainment purposes?" You ask? In a way, yes, but that is not the main answer. The main answer is so it can benefit the chosen people of God. God purposely puts obstacles, who are demons and/or life struggles in the way so his chosen ones can learn and grow from these things. Then when all is said and done, evil will forever be destroyed and God's chosen ones get to experience peace for eternity. This world was intended for his chosen people anyway- God even says he created the world for them. If this is the case, this means lucifer was meant to be evil, demons were purposely created as well, and this all goes back to God saying he created both good and evil.

This entire earth as we know it is just a battleground for a chosen people, which they will succeed in the end, then this world will be destroyed and God will create another world for them to dwell on for all of eternity. This also suggests everyone else will be damned. Everyone else was also created, just as lucifer and his demons, to bring tribulation to the chosen ones. We know the world persecutes God's people, that is why they will be erased from existence in the end. They are merely pawns.

But either way, God has us all in checkmate. So what say you?

Edit: I forgot to mention, this is just how I personally see it; an opinion if you will. You need not heed my words.
 






Alanantic

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As Buddha said, ‘The deed there is, but no doer thereof.’

"He who in his ignorance thinks: 'I slay,' or 'I am slain,' babbles like an infant lacking knowledge. Of a truth, none can slay – none can be slain.”

Self-realization is simply the realization by the ego that the ego itself is not a separate doer, that the doing is merely a happening through a human mechanism or instrument. This understanding annihilates the guilt and shame, pride and arrogance that accompany the sense of personal doership. The result is an enormous sense of freedom, of peace and harmony. – Balsekar/Ramesh

"Another difficulty about truly accepting this teaching is the argument that it leads to a 'fatalistic' attitude. The fatalistic argument translates itself into the question: 'If I am not to be motivated by the fruits of my action, and, indeed, if I have no free will over my actions, why should I work at all?' The answer is astonishingly simple: you will not be able to be inactive for any length of time because the energy within the organism will compel you to act: to act according to the natural characteristics of the organism. In other words, whether to act or not is itself not in your control." -- The Wisdom of Balsekar

"Take unto thy inner mind, this truth, O Prince! Verily, the Real Man – the Spirit of Man – is neither born, nor doth it die. Unborn, undying, ancient, perpetual and eternal, it hath endured and will endure forever. The body may die; be slain; be destroyed completely; but He that hath occupied it remains unharmed.” -- Bhagavad Gita
 






Drifter

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I have a rocky history with God. But I will posit that if this is true then John 3:16 must either be false or has been misinterpreted. Because that would imply Christ's death was not, in fact, for the Whole World and that Whosever Believes in him will not then be saved. I will also say that the issue of evil and God's role or lack thereof in the devastation of the world is a thorn in the side of many who might be otherwise tempted to believe in him at all.
 






Tidal

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God already planned our lives, and we are merely just going along with the script. What say you?

God is certainly like a football manager who tells us how he wants us to play, and then retires to the dugout and let's us have freewill to heed his instructions or not, regard it as a test..:)
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life.." (James 1:12)

God tested Abraham by ordering him to kill his young son, but as Abraham raised the knife, God said-
“Do not lay a hand on the boy, do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God" (Genesis 22:12)

That clearly shows that God didn't know how Abraham was going to react before the test..:)

 






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Tidal

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..I have heard Christians say, "It's your choice if you want to go to heaven or not!" No it's not. It's God's choice.

We're back to free will and "test"again..:)

Jesus said- "For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life" (John 6:40)

In other words the exact same deal is on the table for every human on earth and it's up to their own free will whether they want to accept Jesus or not..:)
 






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Cintra

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I want to start off by saying, yes, by the title, I am suggesting we may be living in a simulation- BUT one that is created by God himself. I have seen many Bible verses suggesting we're just acting as he wants us to because everything is simply a story- a meaningful story. So in other words, if we have free will, it's just slight. Our outcomes have already been determined.

Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."

I don't think many people have had this thought pop up in their mind: "If God says he created good, then how would good have the choice to be evil if it was meant to be good?"

Let's put this into perspective: If I make a square cake, it would not have the option to suddenly form into cupcakes.

We are just a story, everyone, including angels and demons, have been created with a script.

Why does God have a specific chosen people? Why did God purposely harden Pharaoh's heart? Why do the Seraph angels continue to say "Holy Holy Holy" without being able to stop, and have no other purpose but to praise God? Why did God say he would put a spirit of anger into the world leaders so they can destroy Babylon? Simple. Because he is in control; he is the author writing what he wants to happen.

And the only ones getting a happy ending are his chosen ones whom, by the way, HE chooses. I have heard Christians say, "It's your choice if you want to go to heaven or not!" No it's not. It's God's choice. Whoever is fortunate enough will be chosen and if they're chosen that means they have played the role of being a faithful servant because that's what their character was created to do. One cannot send themselves to hell or heaven, did you forget we are mere fragile human beings who can easily get killed by simple weather conditions?

"So are you saying this is all for entertainment purposes?" You ask? In a way, yes, but that is not the main answer. The main answer is so it can benefit the chosen people of God. God purposely puts obstacles, who are demons and/or life struggles in the way so his chosen ones can learn and grow from these things. Then when all is said and done, evil will forever be destroyed and God's chosen ones get to experience peace for eternity. This world was intended for his chosen people anyway- God even says he created the world for them. If this is the case, this means lucifer was meant to be evil, demons were purposely created as well, and this all goes back to God saying he created both good and evil.

This entire earth as we know it is just a battleground for a chosen people, which they will succeed in the end, then this world will be destroyed and God will create another world for them to dwell on for all of eternity. This also suggests everyone else will be damned. Everyone else was also created, just as lucifer and his demons, to bring tribulation to the chosen ones. We know the world persecutes God's people, that is why they will be erased from existence in the end. They are merely pawns.

But either way, God has us all in checkmate. So what say you?

Edit: I forgot to mention, this is just how I personally see it; an opinion if you will. You need not heed my words.
Very interesting post.

I need more time to think about it.
 






Narati

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I believe as God has created us, he created our free will in the same way - which is always under the control of God. In islam it is said God is aware of our past, present and future in order to test us.
"[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed - and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving" - Quran [16:2]

To repeat your question, you are asking why a God who is Omniscient would test one or more of His creatures since He already knows the outcome.

This is merely a misunderstanding of the word "test." We perform scientific tests, for example, in an effort to find out more about them in a logical and systematic way whose point is accuracy. We test things to determine if they are genuine, for example, as in testing something that looks like a diamond to see if it is in fact diamond or merely glass or cubic zirconium. But this testing from a standpoint of not-knowing in order to find out, is not the sole reason for or type of testing.

An example among humans would be the man who discovered that ulcers can be caused by a bacteria, H pylori, which is treatable by antibiotics. After going through the type of testing mentioned above, he became convinced that he had proved his hypothesis with certainty. Presuming now for the sake of argument that he had been granted total knowledge on the subject of this matter, not merely been convinced by his own evidence (although that could also elucidate this point), we find him performing another test.

In reality, he actually did perform that test, by giving the H Pylori bacteria to himself, and thus prove to others such as the scientific and research community that his hypothesis was true. Had he not been fully convinced, he might have hesitated to expose himself to untreatable ulcers that before that had been considered a chronic incurable condition. But by testing himself, he proved his point (he got ulcers and then treated them with antibiotics successfully) without having to go through years of human subject research. So one can test to prove a fact not to oneself, but to prove to others. So one reason Allah tests us in this life is to prove to us, by which I mean all of us, not only the tested person but also those around him/her including a whole society (if applicable).

There is another reason as well. Allah gave us free will. Truth doesn't have to be fully comprehensible to us to be true. But because Allah is also supremely just, it is essential that our free will be tested; again, not for Allah, but for us. It would be unjust for a creature with free will to be given such a gift without also giving that creature (us in this case) the chance to exercise it in a meaningful way. And that "meaningful way" is giving us choices, consequential choices, which we must be allowed to make entirely using our own free will. Some of these choices involve how we learn: by making mistakes. That in itself makes us superior to the jinn as well as the angels, in that it is one thing to be guided without choice and another thing entirely, and with far greater risk and difficulty, to learn "on one's own".

Some of these choices are far more consequential: mainly, the ethical choices and choices regarding faith and attitude. For this reason we can achieve a greater reward (jannah or paradise) or punishment (hell), i.e., the consequences. At the same time, those important choices are considered "tests" because for us they involve risk. We do not know the outcome for certain. And Allah leaves the decision to us because we asked for (according to the Quran before being created) and got free will. The test is for us to see and understand how the consequences are just and since we are forewarned, to act in a way, for which way we are given guidance in Islam (the Quran and prophetic teachings), that will bring the best consequences.

So in fact it should be easier to see how Allah tests us for us to prove ourselves and to also see the outcome of others around us, and as a means for us to exercise our free will and make choices for which we must ultimately take responsibility — although we are given guidance and mercy from Allah to help us in this.
 






Tidal

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Jesus was quite specific that he - and only he - was the path to God-

"Thomas said to him, Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus replied- 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'" (John 14:5/6)


We could therefore say that anybody who rejects him has failed the only test that matters..:)
 






Alanantic

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Jesus was quite specific that he - and only he - was the path to God-

"Thomas said to him, Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus replied- 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'" (John 14:5/6)


We could therefore say that anybody who rejects him has failed the only test that matters..:)
There are nuthouses full of people saying the same thing...and they're quite specific, also.

Lord Krishna said, "All are my expressions. The mountain is of gold and a particle of that mountain is also gold. I am that mountain and every particle is myself. The entire beingness manifest is myself, and each being is a sample of myself. The knowledge 'I Am' in each species is myself. The very life force - luminous, bright, radiant, indwelling principle is myself."

Strangely enough, they didn't put Krishna in a nut house...for some reason...
 






Oceanic

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How do you explain free will then?
This post of mine is merely a speculation, I don't even 100% believe it, but I'm open to believing it which is why I made it. So I'm saying our lives have already been determined. Our existence was created the way he wanted them to be. He made our personalities, likes, dislikes, and interests the same way an author would create their characters. Even if this isn't true, there is still evidence suggesting otherwise but as we all know, nobody knows the full story which is why I made an edit saying this is just an opinion of mine and don't bother taking this post seriously if you have a different perspective.

BUT if we do have free will, I would say to an extent. Our thoughts, maybe some of our actions, but what happens to us in the end is wholeheartedly chosen by God already. That's basically what I'm saying.
 






Oceanic

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I have a rocky history with God. But I will posit that if this is true then John 3:16 must either be false or has been misinterpreted. Because that would imply Christ's death was not, in fact, for the Whole World and that Whosever Believes in him will not then be saved. I will also say that the issue of evil and God's role or lack thereof in the devastation of the world is a thorn in the side of many who might be otherwise tempted to believe in him at all.
Yeah....I believe his sacrifice was only intended for the chosen ones, who are....Israelites. Specifically a 1/3rd of them since God says 2/3rds of Israelites would be destroyed. And honestly, I didn't want to bring that part up, that's why I just referred to them as the "chosen ones" because I already know people are going to be calling me racist, when in reality they're chosen because God made them to be chosen, not because of their skin color but I digress.

Yeah, I PERSONALLY believe when Christ said "the whole world" he's talking about the Israelites among the Nations who have been spread out due to slavery. Everyone else is irrelevant, and therefore only exists to bring tribulation upon the chosen ones. That's why I also mentioned why do you think the world persecutes people who side with God?
 






Oceanic

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God is certainly like a football manager who tells us how he wants us to play, and then retires to the dugout and let's us have freewill to heed his instructions or not, regard it as a test..:)
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life.." (James 1:12)

God tested Abraham by ordering him to kill his young son, but as Abraham raised the knife, God said-
“Do not lay a hand on the boy, do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God" (Genesis 22:12)

That clearly shows that God didn't know how Abraham was going to react before the test..:)

This is an incomprehensible powerful omnipotent being we're talking about. Of course he knew Abraham would be willing to murder his son. I guess I should have mentioned that with this theory of us just being in a story, God also plays a role as well. He's the author, but he communicates with his characters. Even though at least a majority of what we do is already planned, well, it was planned, so it's going to happen.

And here's a personal viewpoint from my life: Sometimes when I want to do something, I can't do it because I'm being blocked. Blocked by whom? If I want to do something, I would have motivation to do it yet there's a force stopping me. Sometimes I have the desire to spend a lot of money online and well, I should've done it then right? Yes, but I can't. My money is being saved for more important things. And I've come to the conclusion that God is the one stopping me from doing that. So that right there is suggesting he chose the outcome for me, I had no say in this. It's a nice outcome, don't get me wrong, but I still wasn't the one who made that decision.

Listen, there is just so many scenes of God controlling the actions of people.
 






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Oceanic

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He says that whosoever believes will be saved. So, that is what makes sense to do, for anyone.
Sure, he does say that- however he still chooses his people. Every verse that talks about God's chosen people facing tribulations always ends with Jesus saying, "Oh this happened because I CHOSE YOU/YOU ARE MY CHOSEN PEOPLE."

What if God is just playing the role of a guider? As I said, it is quite literally CANON that the only ones getting a happy ending are his chosen ones.

Picture this: You are an author writing a character, who, let's say, is a murderer. You want this character to be redeemed so you plan out a story arc just for them. You're the one who did that for them, they didn't decide that. So now they're all good. That's basically what God does according to my point of view. Like I said, I don't even 100% believe my own words, this is just speculation.
 






Drifter

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Yeah....I believe his sacrifice was only intended for the chosen ones, who are....Israelites. Specifically a 1/3rd of them since God says 2/3rds of Israelites would be destroyed. And honestly, I didn't want to bring that part up, that's why I just referred to them as the "chosen ones" because I already know people are going to be calling me racist, when in reality they're chosen because God made them to be chosen, not because of their skin color but I digress.

Yeah, I PERSONALLY believe when Christ said "the whole world" he's talking about the Israelites among the Nations who have been spread out due to slavery. Everyone else is irrelevant, and therefore only exists to bring tribulation upon the chosen ones. That's why I also mentioned why do you think the world persecutes people who side with God?
And the bit about multitude in heaven starring people from every nation and tongue? Or any of Paul's words about there being no more Jew or Gentile? Or even the interactions Jesus himself had with Gentiles? If you are correct then god created the other billions of people for nothing but pointless torture. It's not about racism it's about sadism. Such a god does not deserve to be worshipped or even respected.
 






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I want to start off by saying, yes, by the title, I am suggesting we may be living in a simulation- BUT one that is created by God himself. I have seen many Bible verses suggesting we're just acting as he wants us to because everything is simply a story- a meaningful story. So in other words, if we have free will, it's just slight. Our outcomes have already been determined.

Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."

I don't think many people have had this thought pop up in their mind: "If God says he created good, then how would good have the choice to be evil if it was meant to be good?"

Let's put this into perspective: If I make a square cake, it would not have the option to suddenly form into cupcakes.

We are just a story, everyone, including angels and demons, have been created with a script.

Why does God have a specific chosen people? Why did God purposely harden Pharaoh's heart? Why do the Seraph angels continue to say "Holy Holy Holy" without being able to stop, and have no other purpose but to praise God? Why did God say he would put a spirit of anger into the world leaders so they can destroy Babylon? Simple. Because he is in control; he is the author writing what he wants to happen.

And the only ones getting a happy ending are his chosen ones whom, by the way, HE chooses. I have heard Christians say, "It's your choice if you want to go to heaven or not!" No it's not. It's God's choice. Whoever is fortunate enough will be chosen and if they're chosen that means they have played the role of being a faithful servant because that's what their character was created to do. One cannot send themselves to hell or heaven, did you forget we are mere fragile human beings who can easily get killed by simple weather conditions?

"So are you saying this is all for entertainment purposes?" You ask? In a way, yes, but that is not the main answer. The main answer is so it can benefit the chosen people of God. God purposely puts obstacles, who are demons and/or life struggles in the way so his chosen ones can learn and grow from these things. Then when all is said and done, evil will forever be destroyed and God's chosen ones get to experience peace for eternity. This world was intended for his chosen people anyway- God even says he created the world for them. If this is the case, this means lucifer was meant to be evil, demons were purposely created as well, and this all goes back to God saying he created both good and evil.

This entire earth as we know it is just a battleground for a chosen people, which they will succeed in the end, then this world will be destroyed and God will create another world for them to dwell on for all of eternity. This also suggests everyone else will be damned. Everyone else was also created, just as lucifer and his demons, to bring tribulation to the chosen ones. We know the world persecutes God's people, that is why they will be erased from existence in the end. They are merely pawns.

But either way, God has us all in checkmate. So what say you?

Edit: I forgot to mention, this is just how I personally see it; an opinion if you will. You need not heed my words.
Even Jesus had a choice to follow God's will or not
"Father, take this cup from me, nevertheless not my will but thine be done"
So in that simple sentence it is clear there is a divine will and a human will which can be more or less aligned. Jesus could choose to not do what his purpose was, but he sacrificed that so God's plan could be fulfilled through him. So no its not only God's choice, its peoples choice too.
"Even the chosen will be deceived in those times" so your theory that the "chosen" whatever status you are ascribing that to, i believe you do so racially correct, are on a railway ride to heaven with no stops is false, obviously they can be deceived or they can not. Also if its all just automatic, why would there be all the exortations in the bible to pray to ask for wisdom etc. That is a choice of free will. Your whole argument seems like a cop out to me
 






Aero

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I think people have free will as a faculty that they can choose to exercise or not, same as the mind. Some peoples lives probably do follow a path of least resistence along the course that nature layed out. But if people use their will to overcome obstacles they can be/do anything they want
Pretty much agree.

I would say that human civilization has advanced to a degree that makes a natural path virtually irrelevant. For example, sadism was brought up in this thread. Sadism is extremely common these days, especially with people of authority. My argument is that sadism is 100% environmental. In other words, sadism wouldn't fly in the earliest civilizations. Maybe it existed, but it was probably extremely rare, and the group probably mobbed the offenders. That's because sadism is totally counterproductive, not to mention disgusting.

The sadist essentially no longer has any real role in life. So they are like automatons following a path of least resistance. And not to belabor the point, but that's not natural. It is a product of human conditioning or programming. Now, I'm not trying to say there's a sinister force working within humanity. The cause of the prevalence of sadism may come from the sheer number of people on the planet. Everyone can't have the same role, nor have the role they want *and* the roles that do exist are all less valuable individually and as a whole.
 






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