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Old 07-08-2016, 02:20 AM   #1
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Question Free Will & Predestination

In "Some Answered Questions" by Abdul baha we have a part on the subject of free will. the questioner asks there:

WHEN AN action which someone will perform becomes the object of God’s knowledge and is recorded in the “Guarded Tablet” of destiny, is it possible to resist it?

and Abdul Baha explains that the knowledge of something is not the cause of its occurrence.

now the matter is:
of course the knowledge of something is not the cause of occurrence of that thing. yet although the knowledge is not the cause but it shows that the thing/happening which is known to happen will happen for sure. if God knows that something is gonna happen (and He knows ALL THINGS) then whether that knowledge is the cause of occurrence or not, that thing will happen for sure.
now, what happens to free will?
 
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:03 AM   #2
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Oh, this is deep indeed. I need a few weeks to consider this. :-)

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Old 07-08-2016, 08:27 AM   #3
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I really like this passage from Baha'u'llah on this subject:


Unto each one hath been prescribed a pre-ordained measure, as decreed in God's mighty and guarded Tablets. All that which ye potentially possess can, however, be manifested only as a result of your own volition. Your own acts testify to this truth. … Men, however, have wittingly broken His law. Is such a behavior to be attributed to God, or to their proper selves? Be fair in your judgment. Every good thing is of God, and every evil thing is from yourselves. Will ye not comprehend?

This same truth hath been revealed in all the Scriptures, if ye be of them that understand. Every act ye meditate is as clear to Him as is that act when already accomplished. There is none other God besides Him. His is all creation and its empire. All stands revealed before Him; all is recorded in His holy and hidden Tablets. This fore-knowledge of God, however, should not be regarded as having caused the actions of men, just as your own previous knowledge that a certain event is to occur, or your desire that it should happen, is not and can never be the reason for its occurrence.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 149-150)
 
Old 07-08-2016, 10:35 AM   #4
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thank you Josh
so this writing by Bahaullah means that for example I am given the potential from God ro reach 10/10 in case of spirituality, but then it is my own free will whether I reach 10 or I stay at 9 or 8 or 7 etc. yes? but still, is it not said that even a leaf does not fall down a tree without the will of God? can we not say that if God did not will it, I could have reached 10 instead of stopping at say 8?
 
Old 07-08-2016, 11:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
..so this writing by Bahaullah means that for example I am given the potential from God ro reach 10/10 in case of spirituality, but then it is my own free will whether I reach 10 or I stay at 9 or 8 or 7 etc. yes? but still, is it not said that even a leaf does not fall down a tree without the will of God? can we not say that if God did not will it, I could have reached 10 instead of stopping at say 8?
My understanding is that that leaf doesn't fall without the knowledge of God but not necessarily with the will of God. Baha'u'llah makes clear that we are all given a set potential, but it is up to us what we do with it. We are allowed to make our choices; God never forces.


"The whole duty of man in this Day is to attain that share of the flood of grace which God poureth forth for him. Let none, therefore, consider the largeness or smallness of the receptacle. The portion of some might lie in the palm of a man’s hand, the portion of others might fill a cup, and of others even a gallon-measure."
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 8)
 
Old 07-08-2016, 11:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh View Post
My understanding is that that leaf doesn't fall without the knowledge of God but not necessarily with the will of God.
is it possible that something happens when God doesn't want it to happen???
 
Old 07-08-2016, 11:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
is it possible that something happens when God doesn't want it to happen???
I would say yes. A verse from the Bible came to mind:

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

Obviously, not all do, even though God desires it.
 
Old 07-08-2016, 11:52 AM   #8
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veryyyy helpful verse. thank you so much. now the matter is clear to me
 
Old 07-08-2016, 01:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
In "Some Answered Questions" by Abdul baha we have a part on the subject of free will. the questioner asks there:

WHEN AN action which someone will perform becomes the object of God’s knowledge and is recorded in the “Guarded Tablet” of destiny, is it possible to resist it?

and Abdul Baha explains that the knowledge of something is not the cause of its occurrence.

now the matter is:
of course the knowledge of something is not the cause of occurrence of that thing. yet although the knowledge is not the cause but it shows that the thing/happening which is known to happen will happen for sure. if God knows that something is gonna happen (and He knows ALL THINGS) then whether that knowledge is the cause of occurrence or not, that thing will happen for sure.
now, wxhat happens to free will?
Dearly beloved little sister, for me free will is how I chose to react to events or happenings or how I use skills and talents. I have free will to chose whether to give to charity or not to give after a catastrophe such as a tsunami. I also have free will to find a cure for cancer or to create a bomb using the skills and knowledge which God has given to me.
 
Old 07-08-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
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His knowledge pervades all existence

This is a profound topic.

I don't see any particular issue, however, with the idea that the knowledge of something is not the cause of that thing itself.

The question posed, as to how one can really have free will if God even possesses the knowledge of a future event or occurrence is resolved when we realize that we are reflections of God, and He knows of our essence and our being. It is because God has complete knowledge of our (and all) reality that this is true and there is no problem. Because He knows us and we are His reflections, He has complete knowledge of the unique combination of spiritual qualities and attributes possessed by any individual soul, and therefore must possess the knowledge of what that soul will do in any circumstance or situation even before a choice has been made. Any choice or decision we make in life ultimately is a reflection of the capacities, qualities, and attributes of the soul. (knowledge, truth, love, justice, generosity, etc)

Here is an example that I think makes some sense:

Think about the relationship between a young child and her parents for example. The parents who gave birth to, and utterly love that child, understand her being, her essence. This is why parents can oftentimes see what their own children will do even before they have done it. Now, the fact that the parents may know what course of action their child is about to take, still does not interfere with the free will of the child.

The same is true of the relationship between God and humanity. He can see what direction we are heading in and knows what will happen simply because He is the only One who truly knows us, yet we still have chosen for ourselves.
 
Old 07-08-2016, 03:17 PM   #11
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God knows how we would use our free will, and what we will end up doing.
 
Old 07-08-2016, 04:18 PM   #12
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And in my case, at least the confusion has reached a higher and more interesting level....

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Old 07-08-2016, 05:47 PM   #13
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"Know thou...that the decrees of the Sovereign Ordainer, as related to fate and predestination, are of two kinds. Both are to be obeyed and accepted. The one is irrevocable, the other is, as termed by men, impending. To the former all must unreservedly submit, inasmuch as it is fixed and settled. God, however, is able to alter or repeal it." But then He warns those who would still wish to insist on changing something: "As the harm that must result from such a change will be greater than if the decree had remained unaltered, all, therefore, should willingly acquiesce in what God hath willed and confidently abide by the same. The decree that is impending, however, is such that prayer and entreaty can succeed in averting it." - Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 133

"Fate is of two kinds: one is decreed, and the other is conditional or impending. The decreed fate is that which cannot change or be altered, and conditional fate is that which may occur. So, for this lamp, the decreed fate is that the oil burns and will be consumed; therefore, its eventual extinction is a decree which it is impossible to alter or to change because it is a decreed fate. In the same way, in the body of man a power of life has been created, and as soon as it is destroyed and ended, the body will certainly be decomposed, so when the oil in this lamp is burnt and finished, the lamp will undoubtedly become extinguished.

"But conditional fate may be likened to this: while there is still oil, a violent wind blows on the lamp, which extinguishes it. This is a conditional fate. It is wise to avoid it, to protect oneself from it, to be cautious and circumspect. But the decreed fate, which is like the finishing of the oil in the lamp, cannot be altered, changed nor delayed. It must happen; it is inevitable that the lamp will become extinguished."
- Some Answered Questions, p. 244

LR
 
Old 07-09-2016, 12:26 AM   #14
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thank you all dear friends. now I think I know how the free will works thank you all....
 
Old 07-17-2016, 10:47 PM   #15
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Here is a video by Ghulam Murtaza Malik Shaheed on this subject. Originally in Urdu but fortunately it has English subtitles. He uses the example of Sheikh Sadiq (an astrologer) to explain that the pre-acquired knowledge of something does not necessarily become a hurdle towards the free-will. The Ilmullah-i Sabiq (pre-acquired knowledge by God) does not interfere with our own intent for the actions we do.

https://www.facebook.com/Hafizyousuf...9700876813188/

Last edited by arcane; 07-17-2016 at 11:28 PM.
 
Old 08-23-2016, 08:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
thank you Josh
so this writing by Bahaullah means that for example I am given the potential from God ro reach 10/10 in case of spirituality, but then it is my own free will whether I reach 10 or I stay at 9 or 8 or 7 etc. yes? but still, is it not said that even a leaf does not fall down a tree without the will of God? can we not say that if God did not will it, I could have reached 10 instead of stopping at say 8?
. . . "SAY, verily God hath caused all created things to enter beneath the shade of the tree of affirmation, except those who are endowed with the faculty of understanding. Theirs is the choice either to believe in God their Lord, and put their whole trust in Him, or to shut themselves out from Him and refuse to believe with certitude in His signs. These two groups sail upon two seas: the sea of affirmation and the sea of negation.
They that truly believe in God and in His signs, and who in every Dispensation faithfully obey that which hath been revealed in the Book—such are indeed the ones whom God hath created from the fruits of the Paradise of His good-pleasure, and who are of the blissful. But they who turn away from God and His signs in each Dispensation, those are the ones who sail upon the sea of negation.
God hath, through the potency of His behest, ordained for Himself the task of ensuring the ascendancy of the sea of affirmation and of bringing to naught the sea of negation through the power of His might. He is in truth potent over all things.
Verily it is incumbent upon you to recognize your Lord at the time of His manifestation, that haply ye may not enter into negation, and that, ere a prophet is raised by God, ye may find yourselves securely established upon the sea of affirmation. For if a prophet cometh to you from God and ye fail to walk in His Way, God will, thereupon, transform your light into fire. Take heed then that perchance ye may, through the grace of God and His signs, be enabled to redeem your souls." . XVIII, 13. . Writings of the Bab
 
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