I’m not sure whether or not this is the correct website to seek out an answer to this question. I’ve been considering the fine tuning argument for the existence of God, and wondering if it can inform our understanding of God’s purpose in Creation, the meaning of the Fall, and a better understanding of Redemption.
Ample evidence has been brought forth to suggest that the universe we live in is uniquely and very improbably suited to support intelligent life on earth. The allowable tolerances of numerous variables are so mind bogglingly small that it seems fair to say intelligent life would not have evolved on earth if the universe had not been specifically designed to allow for it. In other words, there is no chance that chance got us here.
If we extend that same level of care and attention to the design and creation of humanity, it seems we can infer something about God’s purpose in making us. It’s well accepted that God created humans with the ability to think and to exercise free will. It’s also generally agreed that God created humans to worship him, but that he did not want automatons singing preprogrammed hymns. He wanted thoughtful creatures who would pursue him with their hearts and minds.
Whether or not Adam and Eve were literal humans, or represented our race in its natal condition, the Bible does assign them certain characteristics before the fall. The first is the ability to reason as exemplified by Eve’s considering the benefits of eating the forbidden fruit. The other is sensual experience, as exemplified by her desire for tasty food. I believe it’s safe to say that God created humanity with these qualities and they are not a result of the fall.
God then does something very interesting. He commands Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But increasing knowledge, especially of good and evil, is the one thing that they would have desired most as sentient beings. Why did God forbid it? I believe there is a fair amount of evidence that demonstrates the effect this kind of command has on one’s ability to resist the temptation. Left to their own devices, Adam and Eve would very likely have persuaded themselves to eat the fruit. But God did not leave them to their own devices. He allowed Satan to enter the garden and persuade them to eat the fruit. As I said, I think they would have done so anyway, but it seems God did not want to leave anything to chance.
I don’t believe God wants automatons to worship him. I also don’t believe he wants people to worship him at gunpoint. Either of those conditions would be demeaning to a good and intelligent being. The only way people could ultimately come to worship him properly is to first reject him. It seems to me that for the last few hundred years humans have started to develop into the creatures that God intended us to be. As we reject authoritarian sources of knowledge, and subject our own beliefs and theories to critique, we may finally become the creatures that God desires to have fellowship with. It’s not through blind obedience that we can worship God perfectly. On the contrary, when we tell God that we disagree with him, the effort to explain why will give us a better understanding of him. As we better understand him, we can better worship him.
I’ve become persuaded that the only way to better understand the truth is to conjecture ideas and explanations, and allow others to vigorously (but graciously) attack them. With that in mind, I’d love to read your critiques of this position. If you disagree with the conclusion, I’d like to know how you reconcile the initial assumptions, namely, that mankind’s rejection of God in the fall was not a result of chance, or free will gone awry, but clearly part of our design.
If it turns out this topic is not appropriate for this forum, I hope I haven’t offended anyone. If the moderator could point me in the right direction to pursue this conversation elsewhere I would greatly appreciate it.